Last week I had my orientation for my study abroad program. The orientation was in NYC, and I was in vermont. I made my appearance via Skype, which was a weird experience. At first, I chatted one on one with the orientation leader which was completely normal video chatting, like I’d do with a friend to catch up. She saw me, I saw her, we talked. However, once the other students came and settled into the room, she put me up on the projector screen where the powerpoint would later be. I was introduced and said hi to the other kids and they all introduced themselves. This was nice, but then the leader told me she was going to point me toward the classroom so I could see the other kids, but minimize me while they did the powerpoint. This was weird. First of all, I was being minimized. Second, I was like some fly on the wall who could see everyone in the classroom, but they couldn’t see me.
As for the powerpoint, no worries… the leader e-mailed me the file before the meeting started, so I had it pulled up in the corner of my own computer screen so I could follow along. Then when she wanted to show a video, she asked that I watch along on the website, but that I put in headphones so that they wouldn’t hear my audio through the Skype while they were watching it.
I was weirdly nervous to attend the orientation over skype… more so than had I been going in person. Not really sure why. But anyway, it all worked smoothly, and I’m glad I didn’t have a problem “attending” due to my distant geographic location.