Last Friday I did a demo of Apple’s iChat/iSight for two-way desktop video conferencing. This was for a group of faculty and staff who attended our Ocotillo Online Learning Group (OLG) meeting, an open monthly event held at different colleges within the Maricopa system.

Like any technology demo, it had its highs and not so highs, manly some connections where the internet was not cooperating and the bandwidth not sufficient for full quality video or sometimes the audio was muffled. But the demo did demonstrate the ease of video chats, and we heard some different ideas how people are using this technology now.


This demo was at the Estrella Mountain Community College Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), on the west side of Phoenix. The CTL is a modern faciltiy with presenter in the middle, and uses four projection screens to display multimedia (the video chats were B-I-G!)

In a 30 minute fast moving window, we visited (distanced calculated using How Far is it?):

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College, one of the Maricopa colleges (28 miles away)- a mobile demo within the Biology lab, we saw two mysertious technicians examine some sort of brain (thanks Tom Foster).
  • University of Calgary (1220 miles away) – a quick chat to D-Arcy Norman, up in the “hinterland”.


  • East Mesa (34 miles away)- we chatted probably the clearest audio/video with Rick Effland, anthropology faculty at Mesa Community College (within Maricopa). Rick described how they have used the iSight to hold meetings between the two Mesa campuses.
  • Williamstown, MA (2205 miles away)- we heard from Ruben R. Puentedura, Founder and President of Hippasus, who described some desktop screen capture and annotation software he uses over the net.
  • Davis, CA (635 miles away)- we visited with Peter Blando, University of California, Davis.
  • Peoria, IL (1348 miles away)- we connected with Ed Lamoureux, faculty member in the Multimedia program at Bradley University in Illinois.

isight9.jpg My apologies for not having time to connect to Jim Tipton in Mesa, Mare in Toronto, and Darrel Plant in Oregon. We were also unable to establish a connection with Richard Elliot in Auckland New Zealand (have been unable to do video there at all).

See the meeting notes for full details and related links.

The post "iSight Deno: 6 Video Chats or Around the Continent in 30 Minutes" was originally yanked out of the teeth of a rabid chicken at CogDogBlog ( on November 12, 2003.

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