Instead of watching the recording of the BYOC session this week, I listened to the MP3. I was in a very distracting environment and the visual element would have been too much stimuli. Not only was it a different experience, it raised a couple of issues that I would like to share with the others.
There is no question in my mind that the differences between the two modes of presentation (video/audio) are significant, but what struck me was how left out a “mere hearer” is.
There were several instances where something was shown to the camera, a book, a sketch or drawing, and other than a can-you-see-this, there was no indication at all what it might be. Even though those present might be able to see what was being shown to the camera, a hearer is left out completely. Even a brief description of what is being shown and why it is perhaps relevant for the discussion would be helpful. Stating specifically the title of a book and its author would also be helpful for the non-visual participant. Remarks about what one just happens to see in the background of one of the participants can be confusing or misleading even.
We want these recordings to be a valuable and useful, and we enjoy the injection of a variety of methods, but what would we do if a blind person were participating? We want the recordings to be a valuable and useful archive, but not everyone who accesses them (or who could access them) may be sighted.
None of this ever even occurred to me till I clicked the MP3 player control instead of the video recorder control. It made quite an impact on me nevertheless. The ecology of online interactions is perhaps a bit vaster and complex that initially meets the eye (pun intended). I wanted to mention it so that it is more consciousnesses than my own, and I seriously think it’s a matter worthy of our attention.