I did the first of two webcasts on Project Hoshimi and the Hoshimi Challenge today. Doing a webcast is an interesting experience. For one thing I was sitting in my home office in New Hampshire at the time and there were no "students" visible in person. The closest thing to a student that I could see was some name on the screen. I'm used to making eye contact with people and that was not going to happen. Windows Live Meeting, which is what we used for the webcast, is a great tool though. People listening to the webcast live can ask questions interactivily during the session.
The Live Meeting software allows the instructor or meeting presenter (we use Live Meeting a lot for internal Microsoft meetings) to show a PowerPoint presentation to the screen of everyone attending the meeting. More than that is the ability to share the presenter's screen. Using this tool I was able to demonstrate the Project Hoshimi server for running various NanoAI modules, use Visual Studio to show how a NanoAI was programmed and do it all as easily as if people were looking at my laptop being connected to a projector in the same room. I'd have to say that except for lacking the eye contact it is in some ways better than being in person.
One that it can be better is that recordings can be watched over and over again. They can be stopped and replayed if you need to hear or see something again. Is the future of teaching? Perhaps it is part of it.
By the way if you want to see this webcast or register for Wednesday's webcast; visit www.mainfunction.com and select webcasts from the training menu on the left of the screen. If you register for today's webcast you will be sent a link to watch the recording. There are other useful webcasts available through Mainfunction as well.