I sit in on a lot of webinars. So many, in fact, that I should join some sort of webinar dependency group. I only wish such a thing existed. Then I could listen to a webinar about webinar dependency!
But despite my love of webinars, I really dislike the process. You listen to a disembodied voice talking while you watch a series of PowerPoint slides. It’s better than spending days traveling but I’ve always wished it could be better.
That day has finally arrived for me. I sat in on a webinar entitled Smarter Work Zones. It is part of FHWA’s Every Day Counts efforts. They broadcast it over a site called livestream. The view switches back and forth between the speaker and the slides making it feel like you are in the room. An operator apparently makes the switch. In the case of the Smarter Work Zones webinar, they showed the speaker until he or she triggered a new slide at which point it jumped to the screen. The video of the speaker varied between two camera angles, one from an angle close up and another from the back of the room that included the attendees there in person.
I recommend you check it out and subscribe to future webinars. You will find this one at: http://new.livestream.com/EDC-3Summits/EDC3-Louisville-1
The content was good too. The first two-thirds focused on better construction planning to minimize traffic impacts. The last third looked at three work zone ITS technologies: queue warning systems, variable speed limit systems and dynamic merge systems. But they didn’t just explain how they work. They strongly encouraged the audience to try these systems. They told them they work and that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Afterward they pressed the audience again to get moving. They even offered help getting started.
Every Day Counts is FHWA’s effort to jump start newer but otherwise proven ideas. I think it is going to work!