While many, many, many people from our field have made the trek to Seattle this week to attend one of our bi-annual internal technology briefings I am attending from home. I log in via the web and organize my Outlook calendar with the sessions I want to attend, and then join each session via LiveMeeting to experience streaming audio and video.
This is one of those times I observe our operations at Microsoft and can't help but think there should be a case study on how this would work for EDU. Granted, Microsoft has budget to hire a small army of people to record each session and the hardware necessary to do the audio/video, but having a week of sessions, 8-10 hours per day, 10-15 sessions per hour, and broadcasting every session securely via LiveMeeting is an impressive achievement!!! I have to think it could be replicated consistently on a smaller scale using simple desktop sharing and a microphone for the case of teachers who would like to extend their classroom.
For me, attending virtually means I can still help out my wife with our infant, still connect with customers via my own LiveMeetings, and I can instantly slip out of one session and in to another without disturbing other attendees. I occasionally even attend two sessions at once and toggle the audio back and forth.
Best of all, unlike being there in person and fighting to get in to packed sessions, LiveMeeting never runs out of seating!