Work Keeps Diversifying…

Ethernet Work Spaces at the Bismarck AirportI love this about the Bismarck airport.  Nice wrap-around work desks with Ethernet.  Yes, that’s Ethernet — and pretty peppy too.  I actually have no right to be this easily excited at 3:40 in the morning.  But the front desk set my wake-up for 1:45 instead of 2:45.

Then I learned that they didn’t actually arrange the cab ride that I asked for.  Fortunately, somebody else had called from his room, so we split the fare.

Yesterday was an interesting day.  I had two virtual presentations during the afternoon, and I was afraid of trusting flights to get me home in time.  So I stayed an extra day in North Dakota.  Brenda set me up with the best Internet connected hotel in the city, though I don’t know how she did that.  The connection was flawless, however, and that isn’t the kinda service that I’m accustomed to these days.

Fire alarm,
No Smoking, &
Access to the Metaverse

I started preparing for the presentations when I got up, and as it is my nature, almost completely re-did my slides for Redefining Literacy 2.0.  That took me almost all the way up to the first presentation, only to find that it was too late to upload a new set of slides.  So I had to retool for the original sequence of slides.  Bummer!

That too me up to the two hours before the next presentation, which was done via Skype.  That was much more fun.  I used CamTwist to control the visuals, and it was a joy.  Rather than install slides, I just converted the slides into images, and as I wanted to display them, I simply dragged the file into a box and CamTwist, and then increased the opacity.

Virtual EducationIt was a bit of a challenge doing all of this on a laptop screen.  See the picture to the right, and click it to enlarge.  At home, I’d have an external display to do the work on.

The only weakness of CamTwist is its inability to send audio through.  There are instructions for pipping audio through SoundFlower, but I couldn’t get that to work.  So I had to find some alternatives for the audio-dependent videos that I wanted to use.  No Prob!  The day’s biggest problem was that it was 6:30 PM before I stepped out of my hotel room yesterday.  Walked across to a grocery store where I bought some Wild Rice Salad, garlic bread and a small vat of chocolate pudding 😉

With all that’s going on in the world today, I suspect that I will be doing a lot more of this sort of virtual work.  The only thing that, at this point, that is uncomfortable to me is how the presenter is switched on, and then switched off.  I connect and pop up on the screen.  I do my thing, punch through my media, answer some questions, and then I get switched off.  …Gotta get use to that.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.