Friday, January 11, 2013

Webinar and Apple TV

Webinar - Web conferencing refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. These are sometimes referred to as webinars or, interactive conferences, online workshops. In general the service is made possible by Internet technologies and is broadcast over a computer to the end user. We have a couple of outlets for good quality educational webinars. Since DMGCC is a member of TurfNet, the webinars that they host and produce are free to the TurfNet member.

A couple of days ago TurfNet was hosting a webinar that featured Dr. Nick Christians from Iowa State University. The topic was about growing turf under heat and drought stress. I really thought it would be a great seminar for all of our management team to see. But the biggest problem that I had was how to get 8 people behind a computer screen and be comfortable for 1.5 hours. Then it dawned on me, I have Apple TV hooked up to the TV in the lunch room. If I could pick up the webinar on my Ipad, I could then broadcast it to the staff in the lunch room. They could sit at tables and be more comfortable, they could take notes and we could have as many staff members watch as we wanted.

I sent a quick email to TurfNet’s John Reitman right after break time that morning to see if he had any ideas on how it would work. John is the manager in charge of all webinars that TurfNet hosts. John was about as excited as I was. He set up a dummy webinar for me to try and we did a “mock” webinar to see if it worked. I hooked up the Ipad to the Apple TV receiver wirelessly and away we went. It worked flawlessly.

After we watched the webinar I asked our staff what they thought. They all really enjoyed it, they did not have to travel off site, they did not have to change clothes from their work clothes, it only cost the employer 1.5 hours of labor for them to get some quality education, and the biggest thing is they were comfortable and not sitting behind a computer screen trying to watch and listen. Thanks John Reitman for helping us out and we will be doing more of these in the future! All of this was made possible from a $100 Apple TV box that we had purchased with some beer/pop can redemption money. Even former Director of Grounds, Bill Byers stopped in to partake in the technology education session, Bill was amazed to see changes like that.