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THEORIZING
SYNCHRONICITY
Toward a New Pedagogy for
Videoconferencing
IRC, IBAC (VOIP) & POTS
Peter Paolucci, Ph.D.
Be Alert For …






Intrusiveness of hardware & furniture
Constraints make movement unnatural
Attention drift in participants
Media melding (talking heads)
Information overload & distraction (noise)
Mis-interpretation of communication
cues
Be Alert For …


Non-technical factors (motivation,
culture, pre-conceptions) still primary
Politics of power & submission always in
play
Hence …
 No real "best practices"
 Need for a dialectical and contextual
pedagogy
OVERVIEW
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Taxonomy of VC Environments &
Their Technologies & Pedagogies
Theoretical & Cultural Issues
Practicalities
Glossary
References
3 WAYS TO USE VC

Broadcasting (-)

Monitoring (+)

Interactivity (++)
+/ 

(+) Improves asynchronous email,
WWW, conferencing
(-) VC a hazardous medium
» Less information than usual
» Limited angles & points of view
» Not an "invisible" technology
» Visual distractors & "Media leakage"
» NOT synchronous
TAXONOMY


Front End vs Back End
3 Modes:
1. SITE-BASED (Site-to-site and Multi-Site)
2. POINT-BASED (Point-to-Point and Multi-Point)
3. ENTERPRISE (Bi-Modal)
FRONT END
Site Based
Point Based
SITE-TO-SITE

2 sites connected
A
B
MULTI-SITE

3
++
in connected via bridge or satellite
B
A
Bridge
C
D
POINT-TO POINT


2 individuals connected
AKA "Desktop Webcasting"
Internet
MULTI-POINT

3
++
individuals connected
Internet
Server
ENTERPRISE

3
++
in connected via bridge or satellite
C
Bridge
D
BACK END
Site Based (H.320)
Point Based (H.323)
ISDN & Codec
Compression
Transmission
Decompression
PROTOCOLS 1

What is a protocol?
– Rules that govern
» What happens
» How
» When (under what conditions)
» Sequencing
PROTOCOLS 2

H.320 – ISDN
–
–
–
–

Controls compression/decompression
Video and audio
"bundles" other protocols
Transport rules
H.323 – Over "IP" (IP Addressing)
– similar
PROTOCOLS 3

In Enterprise, H.320 – H.323 need to
talk to each other

Therefore transcoding required

Contributes to more "lag time"
SYNCHRONICITY

Never really achieved

Always approximated

Often assumed
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