I participated in the 2012 iMoot (100% online Moodle Moot Conference) in May of 2012 for the purpose of presenting on the research I did for the migration of Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.2. It was the first chance I’ve had to give an ONLINE PRESENTATION to participants around the world.
The software we used for the online presentation rooms was Adobe Connect (English/日本語). The client software is free and installed easily on both my desktop computer and my tablet (iPad) for mobility-enabled participation. It worked really well. I could interact with the meeting participants through the chat dialogue and as a presenter I could also get live feedback by using a powerful and simple online polling mechanism. The only downside to presenting using Connect was the silence I felt while speaking during my presentation. It was a little challenging to get used to having no audible feedback as I spoke, but after a short time I was able to adjust.
The best part of giving an online presentation was the feeling of communicating broadly with people around the world. Living on Kyushu island in western Japan it is sometimes easy to forget that there are actually other people in other places who are trying to accomplish the same things that I have been doing, so it was still pretty exciting to have people interested in the topic I presented.
Another of the larger benefits of participating in an iMoot or online Moodle Moot is the asynchronous nature of the venue. Since most of the presentations were digitally recorded, we participants didn't have to suffer the feeling of having to choose between either of two conflicting presentations. We could go back and review or scan through other presentations to see what we had missed - that isn't easy to do in a traditional conference format. The presentations have been available online since the conference completed and even today as I write this article (5 months later) I can still access those presentations.
The presenters were asked to deliver each of our presentations twice in two different timezone periods to maximize the chances of global participation. That required me to come in to the office once during the later evening, but it really was no trouble at all. A benefit of delivering my presentation twice was that I had a chance to make changes to the presentation between the first and second sessions. The second time around for my presentation I was much more focused and clear and was able to deliver on the most important points for the participants more effectively. Not many traditional conference venues allow for a second chance to perform and I know there are those of us who would appreciate that option.
In summary, joining an online Moodle Moot - an iMoot - is an effective way to gather information during our adventures with Moodle without having to travel to remote and exotic (and costly) locations. It also increases our chances of meeting global partners in Moodle from right here in Japan. If you have a chance, I recommend you participate in the iMoot as either a presenter or a learner and get the most out of this wonderful resource.
P.S. - I'll try to write up more on migration if people are interested.