Professor Dana Janbek:
For my COM101 Understanding Mass Media, we study different types of media throughout the semester. When we covered the Television chapter, I thought about asking a friend of mine, who is the Founder and former CEO of MGM Networks Latin America, to talk to the class about his life story as an immigrant, his work experience as a journalist, and most importantly, his experience in building TV networks in Latin America.
The speaker, who had a copy of the Power Point I covered in the class and was familiar with the nature of the course, was able to reiterate and elaborate on the basic concepts we covered based on his work experience. These concepts included ratings, advertising, journalism… etc. Technically, using Skype is extremely easy.
The students very much enjoyed the experience of conferencing a guest speaker from a different city (Miami) who specializes in TV networks (I am sure they were also happy to get a break from me). Students were also quite impressed with the use of Skype, granted most of them to my surprise have never used it! When you bring a speaker to campus, generally the speaker ends up staying for the whole class period, while with Skype, you have the option of videoconferencing a guest speaker for part of the class period. The use of Skype is a very affordable (technically free) and flexible tool we can use to expose our students to experts in the field.