It's 7 pm in our virtual room. Monika and I extend a warm welcome to our students. The long awaited virtual lesson begins. We listen to American students talking about Thanksgiving. Croatian students ask questions. Whoever wants to speak next, raises their hand. At the end, they all deserve a round of applause. The 'freedom bloggers' in two classrooms on two continents raise their glass of sparkling cider and toast to change. Tupac Shakur is singing in the background. Everybody is happy.
Too good to be true? Unfortunately, yes. Our first Connect Pro Meeting was complete chaos.
The beginning was almost perfect, though. A very friendly CARNet guy went over the whole meeting with me. I was even sent a tweet by @connectusers, the official community for users of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro wishing us fun:
Then I sent the address of the site to Monika, but she just couldn't open it. Later we found out that it was blocked by her school district! However, after 29 hours of phone calls, tweets, Ning messages and an Elluminate session, I received a tweet that said:
Some might say that what followed was a teacher's worst nightmare. All the participants were either hosts or presenters, so everybody was talking at the same time. Some of them suddenly discovered what fun it was to play with the pods, so they minimized the camera and voice pods, maximized the attendee list pod, made the chat box disappear or simply ended the meeting and then restored it just for fun...
But we didn't mind. We were just sitting there, smiling happily at each other because we brought our students together in this e-room and no nightmare or chaos could diminish our excitement.