Working with internationally based tutors was never going to be easy. From early days our budgets were stretched with international flights, airport transfers, nice hotels – just the cost to physically get them into the room. When it was suggested that we drop a physical meeting and replace it with a Skype session, I found by financial relief tinged with some concern – surely it was a cheap cop-out? I’d used Skype a lot for my family, but in an informal setting you can forgive robot voices, dropped calls and sticky video. Its free after all, but in a work situation, when you have a short timeslot…. well it was a risk wasn’t it?
I am delighted to share that it is brilliant. I am now Skypeing across all sorts of projects. Struggling to coordinate a group of people together – no problem, lets Skype! I did pay for the upgraded version, definitely worth it for group videoing,and there are still occasional technical issues, but I have found that people are very patient and can cope with minor interruptions easily.
The feedback from the writers was also incredibly positive. With one participant’s session lasting four hours (with a follow up the next day), there was no sense of feeling they were getting a second class session. Somehow working from their own workspaces was a positive thing, and helped them focus in a different way to being at a distant hotel space.
All in all a fantastic tool and one that I recommend to you all. (if you’re not already scoffing at my technological behind-ness!)