Attending an livestream workshop
We are glad you would like to attend an livestream workshop. This page will help you mentally and physically prepare.
Our workshops are interactive and hands-on, and you will get the most out of them if you can take part in all exercises, unlike a normal academic lecture where you mainly listen. Thus, please read this and come prepared!
A livestream workshop allow us to reach an unlimited number of people, at the cost of not being as interactive. Still, we have solutions:
You might register to Zoom breakout rooms, which are interactive.
HackMD allows you to ask questions anonymously - even better than a normal workshop! Once we have a few tens of people in any workshop, people don’t ask voice questions anyway.
In some workshops, you can register for breakout rooms to get interactive assistance during the exercise/breakout sessions.
How it works
You open the livestream in a web browser. This is the “TV”, it is always on.
If you are attending Zoom exercise session, open this as well. The livestream will tell you when to switch to Zoom, and Zoom will tell you when to switch to livestream. There should only be sound coming from one at a time, so you can simply follow the sound.
If you are not in a organized Zoom exercise session, you can form your own mini-Zoom meetings and work together that way. Screensharing is a great way to help each other!
You could just as well organize a in-person session, where you play the stream in a meeting room and work together on your computers.
The livestream is a portrait screenshare, so that it will only take up half of your screen (and the other half is for you to work). (If you are in a physical meeting room with a projector or second monitor, it can be half the livestream and half the HackMD - this will make sense when you see it).
General prerequisites, software installation, etc.
Check your workshop page for the general setup specific to that workshop.
Often, there is something to install. We usually ask you to install things so that your computer is set up to do work later.
There may be some basic skills, such as the command line shell, to review in advance.
Do the installation and configuration in advance, and double check it. In real workshops, problems here slow us down a lot, and if you don’t prepare, you will immediately fall behind. If there is a pre-workshop session for installation, go there if needed.
If all else fails, join the workshop well in advance and ask for help then. Usually, there will be enough time to get ready for the day.
Take the workshop seriously
It’s easy to think “it’s just online, it’s easy to passively watch”. However, for an interactive experience you do need to take part to get the most of out it, and our workshops are targeted to that. If you read this page and the workshop prerequisites, you should be OK.
Don’t do multiple meetings, reserve the entire timeslots on your calendar, attend every session, do the preparation.
On the other hand, the point of livestreaming is that someone can passively watch without taking a seat from others. If you want to watch without interacting, that is OK too! Please don’t take an interactive seat from others and consider returning actively later.
Get a good, quiet workspace. Make sure it is comfortable enough to stay at for a while.
An extra monitor is useful but not required, since there is a lot of stuff to follow: the stream itself, the lesson webpage, and the window where you are doing the assignment. You could also use a second device to watch the stream.
If you have registered to attend breakout rooms, you’ll be expected to talk at some times and take part, not simply be quiet and listen all the time. Try to be in a place where you can speak without disturbing others. By the same token, you’ll be listening for a long time, and your ears may get tired of headphones. If you have good enough external speakers, be somewhere that you can use them (perhaps only sometimes - when it doesn’t interfere with your microphone.)
If you work in a large office, consider attending from home or in a meeting room so that you can speak and listen more freely. If you need and extra monitor or more comfortable seating space and don’t have that at home, consider working at your office. Yes, these are conflicting ideas, you need to find what works best for you.
Despite what most people think, attending things online can be harder than in-person.
Don’t schedule overlapping meetings, reserve the entire timeslots, minimze distractions. It’s easy to think you can do multiple things at once when doing it online, but really it’s a trap.
Join the workshop 10 minutes early to get ready.
There will be breaks, but even long ones go by very fast, and this gives you limited time to make coffee, eat, etc. We try to limit ourselves to half-days because of this, but consider preparing food, coffee, etc. in advance.
Make sure you take the breaks, walk around some, etc.
Most communication goes through HackMD. Make sure that you have it open and practice during the icebreakers. This is much better than chat, since you can ask anonymously, you can ask at the same time as others, and multiple people can answer. We recommend you don’t use chat, messages tend to get lost if not answered immediately.
Join the stream 10 minutes in advance. There is some advance icebreakers and discussion you can take part in, and you get to breath before we start.
There is usually discussion after the workshop. If you want, stick around and give us immediate feedback and ask more questions.
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