The really strange part of delivering a ‘Webinar’

Last week I had the opportunity to deliver a ‘webinar’ – an online seminar, for the Ontario Museum Association; Introduction to Effectively Using Social Media in Museums. But this post isn’t about the social media, it is about the format of a webinar itself.

Delivering webinars is weird. At least delivering a webinar where the participants can hear you, and see you, but you can’t hear or see them is weird. As an Education Coordinator I routinely deliver lectures that are extremely two-sided, a give and take between myself and the classes who visit the museum. I am very used to asking questions and developing a lecture into a conversation. Even when I am giving tours to adults, or speaking at conferences, etc. I can still read the micro expressions (or macro expressions – yawning isn’t good) that cross peoples’ faces as I am speaking. I can then adjust to better suit the audience accordingly. In a webinar when I can’t see the participants’ facial expressions or easily converse with them, it definitely throws me off.

Hopefully this is a skill I will have more opportunities to perfect in the future, because it is also kind of fun 🙂

Two really excellent online museum exhibits

The Secret annex Online (Anne Frank Museum – Amsterdam)

This online tour through the 3D hiding place of Anne Frank, her family, and the others she was in hiding with during Hitler’s invasion of the Netherlands, uses video and sound to tell the story as you travel through the space. There are excerpts from Anne’s diary, radio broadcasts they were listening to, and interviews with those who survived the war.

Click here to visit.

This is brilliant, but very heavy – You Will Cry.

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Digital Monet: Galeries Nationales, Grand Palais, Paris

On a much lighter note, the Grand Palais, Paris’ online exhibition of Monet’s Impressionism collection is like a stroll through the park on a warm spring day.

There are two main sections to this online exhibit; the first is a more traditional slide show through the paintings in the onsite exhibit – although with an excellent level of zoom, allowing you to get much closer to the paintings then you ever would in the gallery setting. The second, which they call the ‘Journey’ is my favourite; It takes you through a series of the paintings, allowing the viewer to interact with the paintings as you travel. Works best with a webcam and microphone.

Visit Digital Monet by clicking here.

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