SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Weekly drop-in webinar clinics/feedback sessions now booked on FlashMeeting

As we decided at the SHEEN Sharing Development Group meeting on April 6th, I got myself a “meeting booker” account on the Open University’s free webinar service, FlashMeeting.  Thanks to Tony Hirst, Chris Valentine and Pete Cannell at the OU for their help.

What is FlashMeeting and why are we using it?

We’ll be using FlashMeeting for weekly webinar sessions that you can drop into as you feel the need.  They can be used for support and help with the Web2.0 tools you will be trialling.  We will also use them to gather formative feedback on how the project trials are going.

FlashMeeting is easy to use in your web browser, as long as you have Adobe Flash 8 or later installed as a plugin.  It is “low-data” friendly, so you don’t need a massively high-spec machine or super-fast Internet connection to use it (although I probably wouldn’t recommend dial-up).  And it records our meetings so we can go back and look at them later, or share them with others in the ECN if they couldn’t come.

There is a brief introduction and feature list for FlashMeeting here:  You can participate with webcam and microphone so we can see and hear each other.  If you don’t have these, you can still see and hear everyone else if you have sound; if you don’t have sound, you can participate via live text chat during the meeting.  In this last case, I will make sure you can read live notes about what is being discussed as it happens.  There is also a whiteboard facility, and the ability to show slides and link to websites live.

When will we meet on FlashMeeting for our clinics and project updates?

I will be available on FlashMeeting every Wednesday morning from 9:00-12:00.  You can pop in at any time during that period.  You can log into the meeting as a guest user, or create an account for yourself in FlashMeeting, which gives you access to more of the functionality in FlashMeeting.

First SHEEN Sharing FlashMeeting

The first FlashMeeting will be this Wednesday, 29 April 2009.  I will send out the URL for the meeting using the ECN JISCMail list, as the recording of the meeting will also be available at that URL, and for privacy’s sake it’s best if I don’t make it public on this Website.

No need to tell me beforehand that you will be logging in, however, if a bunch of you decide to come along because of a trials group issue, a bit of forewarning might help as I have booked the meetings for a certain number of users, and if it looks like we will have more than that number, I will need to increase the booking.

If you know in advance that you have a specific topic you wish to cover, it will likely save us both time if you let me know beforehand also.  I’m keen at this stage not to set topics for the meetings myself, but if people come up with stuff in advance I will certainly let everyone know.  So, for instance, if someone wants to discuss the use of hashtags on Twitter and lets me know beforehand, I can email the JISCmail list and anyone else who is interested can show up too.

Getting Adobe Flash 8 installed if you don’t have it

To check what version of Adobe Flash 8 you have installed in your web browser, simply go to this URL and you will see a report about what version of Flash you currently have:

If you don’t have Adobe Flash 8 or later, you will need to install the most recent version of Flash from the Adobe website.  I understand from our initial meetings that some folk may have to request permission from their IT departments to do this, or even get someone from there to do it.  If you do have this problem, please let Cherie Woolmer and I know: we want to be able to support you and also report back to the Scottish Funding Council about un-necessary barriers in some institutions.

Getting started on FlashMeeting

You will only need to follow the meeting URL I send out, and click to accept the terms and conditions to enter the meeting.  However, if you want to check beforehand that everything is working as it should for you (Adobe Flash 8, webcam and sound), the folks at the OU have provided a VERY easy to follow checking tool, explained here:

Guest user or getting a FlashMeeting sign-in account?

You may indeed be perfectly comfortable as a guest user and wish to join in that way at least to start with; you can access most of the basic functionality as a guest.  However, just FYI, if you are a guest user, you can’t use the whiteboard facility, upload files for others to see, use concept maps, or send private chat messages to other participants.  You also can’t access the SHEEN Sharing group page and save the events you are interested in.  For a full list of features available to different login levels look here.  If you want to use all the available features, go here to sign in:  Make sure you read the terms and conditions first.

SHEEN Sharing Group on FlashMeeting

I’ve created a SHEEN Sharing Group within FlashMeeting, whereby you can access all of the group’s meetings, and download dates/times for all of them immediately into your calendar.  You need to be a registered user of FlashMeeting to be a member of the Group (again this helps with privacy).  To join the SHEEN Sharing Group, go to My Groups, then search “sheen” with “All groups” selected.  It should be the only group to come up; use the little people icon in the right-hand column to join the group.  I will need to confirm your membership.

April 27, 2009 - Posted by | SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, Webconferencing | , , , , , , ,


  1. What a crazy first drop-in Webinar we had today! I logged in just before 9am only to discover that my webcam was working, but the video image of me on the FlashMeeting site was upside down! Luckily noone else showed up for quite a while, so I spent a large part of the morning looking for a solution, including phoning the HP helpline (my webcam is built into my HP laptop). It’s looking like a fairly intractable problem so far (my webcam works fine with other applications), but I think that is mainly down to Microsoft Vista, damn them. Remember back in the day, folk used to tinker under the hood of their own cars; some clever folk even used to fix their own cars? You know how you just can’t do that these days because it’s all so complicated and “failsafe”? Computers are going the same way…

    I digress: the next thing was I got an email from Jon Culley saying he’d tried to log into the FlashMeeting but had had some technical problems at his end. He got far enough to see that I was upside down though- not sure what happened there. Sorry Jon, don’t give up, and please let me know if I can help you with whatever problems you had.

    Then Gavin McCabe from Edinburgh Uni showed up, sans webcam and microphone- he could see upsidedown me though , and he could hear me. So I chatted to him and he used the FlashMeeting text chat tool to communicate with me, which worked well. I ended up showing him the Netvibes examples I had posted here recently (using FlashMeeting’s “Share URLs” tool) – the first one I sent was actually a link to a fairly taste-free humour site – luckily Gavin has a good sense of humour. That was totally my fumble-fingers with copy-and-paste 😦

    Anyway, when Gavin did get a look at the example Netvibes pages, he was duly impressed. We agreed they are great examples to get us thinking and planning; I’m hoping he will feed back on our own Netvibes page once we put it out for comment.

    Then, near the end of the FlashMeeting, I got emails from Pam and blog comments from Jessica; a few people joined Twitter and started following @sheensharing and Phyl Meyer from the ECN Voluntary Sector Project responded to my earlier email to him; he’s getting involved now too.

    All-in-all a good day for SHEEN Sharing in spite of my early embarrassment. Also: if at first you don’t succeed, contact me! I’ve been able to help out a few of you so far with initial learning-curve glitches when you try the tools.. it’s easypeasy, don’t be scared or think you’ve broken something, let me know what’s going down!

    Comment by morageyrie | April 29, 2009

  2. Just experienced my first go at meeting in webinar. Sarah was able to talk me through the ongoing development of the netvibes page as well as update me on her explorations with Diigo. This worked really well. The only difficulty I found was toggling between tabs (looking at a website and then back to the tab for the webinar meeting).

    Didn’t get a chance to use the whiteboard function but could see that has a lot of potential for us to share “draft” versions of things or collaborate on developing text etc.

    Hope others might be able to touch base next Wednesday.

    Comment by Cherie | May 13, 2009

  3. There is a way around the two-tabs problem- have two browser windows open instead of just two tabs, then make them both small enough to fit your screen next to each other. I should take my own advice next time too! I think since tabbed browsers became the norm we sometimes forget that you don’t *have* to use the tab feature if it’s getting in the way.

    Anyway, glad you found the session useful Cherie.

    Comment by morageyrie | May 13, 2009

  4. […] ECN members: see you on June 1st! And don’t forget to drop into one of our weekly Wednesday SHEEN Sharing webinars if you’d like a preview, a taster, or any other help with anything SHEEN Sharing […]

    Pingback by Next phase under way: a community ECN site plus a lovely resource sharing tool « SHEEN Sharing | May 25, 2009

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