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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Time Zone Problems Adieu to You: Meet Airset

Julie and I spent 2 1/2 hours today in elluminate, learning how to use elluminate and then the last 30 minutes troubleshooting the BLASTED time zone problem that has caused problems with every online conference we've attended from K12online to the connectivism conference.

And guess what, after much hacking and struggling -- the problem is solved!

(If you really want to hear our voices and how we work together, you're welcome to listen to the recording --

Now, if you don't believe me (most of you who have pulled your hair out won't) -- go to this wiki page - http://horizonproject.wikispaces.com/Student+Summit and take a look at the calendar. Press month and notice something!

***NOTE: After some testing, we found that it only converts on the page IF YOU ARE LOGGED INTO YOUR AIRSET ACCOUNT -- the following is a note from Julie on the Ning - Well, maybe not as good as we thought, but still great -- got to go invite the students to airset to make this work. Otherwise, it goes to my default as the creator - eastern time!
Vicki, I am just as excited about this as you are. However, and this may be obvious to others, to see the embedded widget on the Horizon Project wiki page in your own local time you need to logged into Airset on the computer at the same time. Please someone correct me if I am wrong...it does not pick up the time from the preferences in your computer but from a link throutgh logging into your Airset account.

BTW, I found this out when trying to demonstrate this to my HP class today and after telling them how good it was and how it was in Bangladesh time....there it was in Eastern time! ooops.......

It converts to YOUR TIME ZONE. Guess what? We entered the times in OUR TIME ZONE! (Called LOCAL TIME on the calendar) Airset converts and handles it!

What does this mean for online conferences and multi-time zone projects!?

This means that you can create a group in Airset and that each person can look at the calendar in their own time zone (as set up in the preferences) and that you can create events and invite other group members who get an invitation to the event via e-mail IN THEIR TIME ZONE! They can RSVP, etc.

I've been using this awesome program for my family since March but now it is moving to the horizon! (See Rapidly Synchronize your Sanity)

What can you RSS?
You can RSS both the calendar AND changes to the calendar. Additionally, you can use the lists feature to create lists, etc. It has blogs, hyperlinks, files, etc. And my family and I have a private airset that we use for all of these things (sorry, you cannot get to it!) I also have used RSS to pull the calendar events to my children's google start page to remind them when they log on their computer what is coming up! Because, even if you don't make your calendar public, you can hyperlink and RSS to the calendar for those who know the feed address.

What can you synch with?

Also, I've been using Airset for a while and can tell you that it synchs with: Outlook, my cell phone, AND my palm pilot! ALSO, I have it set to send me text messages on my cell phone telling me my calendar for the next day AND I can put reminders for events so that it will text me when I need to do something!

We will use it for the youth summit?

We're going to use it to allow students to sign up for times in the youth summit so we can stop HAVING TO CONVERT THE TIME AND FIGURE IT OUT!

We were so excited! This has been our biggest problem. We tried Google Calendar and gave up on that after a few minutes. On a whim, we tried airset and VOILA!

But, there are a few tricks, so here is how you do it!

Here is what we are doing!

1) Create your personal account in airset. When you do, you will have a personal calendar. Notice that this is NOT the calendar for your group but is your private calendar.

Make sure that when you do this that you click PREFERENCES at the top of the screen and PERSONAL to check your time zone.

If you want to integrate your cell phone and live in North America, set up your cell phone.

2) Create a new group in Airset (see my post Rapidly Synchronize your sanity).

3) While you are still learning, you may want to just go in there and add one or two others -- you can make them organizers and they can assist you in administration. All you have to do is type in their e-mail address.

4) When you create an event, make sure on the time zone that you specify LOCAL TIME -- this means it will be converted to the local time of the viewer! This is the trick.

We tried it the other way where we specified the specific time, if you do that, it will show it NOT in local time but in that time zone -- and if you mess up and create the event not in local time, it won't let you change it! You'll have to go back and delete the event and create it again!

5) To share it, you have to go Group --> RSS Feeds --> Manage -- then you can enable RSS feeds and can also fine the embed code to embed the calendar in your page. I am going to do this for WOW2 -- so convenient!

I am going to create a tutorial for the students and I WILL SHARE IT WITH YOU!

But right now, the house is a mess and I have a ton of papers to grade, so first I have to clean!

But I'm so excited! The great thing about being on the cutting edge is that it FORCES you to innovate! It forces you to be more and do more!

And when we share, others can learn! I am so very excited to be part of this educational horizon!

Thanks Elluminate!
I think that one big reason that this innovation happened is that Julie and I were able to meet F2F virtually (ha ha)-- Elluminate has agreed to sponsor the horizon synchronous communication efforts and we are so very excited! It it is GREAT! It is so EXCITING! WOW!

It also means we can record and share our sessions with you and add another aspect of documentation to the process!

PS -- I have been sending out invitation to Joost, a couple of you I cannot find your e-mail addresses b/c I can't view your blogger profile. If you want an invitation to the Web2 way to view TV just e-mail me at coolcatteacher at gmail.com.

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