The Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department has continued to fund Community Legal Centres access to WebEx technologies. CLCs have free access to this world class video conferencing and collaboration tool.
This technology offers many opportunities for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of a wide range of professional development activities and has been used by centres for a variety of purposes including in-house staff training, management committee meetings, Working Group meetings, client interviews and CLSIS online training.
- What is WebEx
- What do I need to attend a meeting?
- What could I use WebEx for?
- Some examples of Webex use:
WebEx is an Internet based teleconferencing and collaboration tool. With this technology you can attend meetings you otherwise would not have been able to participate in due to time constraints or distance to travel.
Webex capabilities include document sharing (including powerpoint presentations), application and website sharing – all streamed live so all participants can see what is being shared during a meeting. Sharing documents or applications can be done by anyone in the meeting and participants will have be able to see others in the meeting if webcam sharing is used, however, you do not have to have a webcam to attend a meeting.
To attend a meeting you will need a computer, a connection to the Internet, and either a phone or microphone & speaker to participate in the teleconference. You do not have to have a webcam to attend a meeting.
To hold a webex meeting, you will need to have a Webex host account which is available to centres who are members of NACLC.
Anyone can attend a Webex meeting, you do not have to be a staff member from a CLC to attend a WebEx meeting. For example, you could invite an external trainer to provide a professional development session to staff at your service, or you could provide CLE to community members participating from other venues.
- Management Committee meetings. Are your Committee members struggling to get to the meetings? There is usually documentation up for discussion during a Management Committee meeting and while they can join by phone, they may not have access to the documentation from where they are. If your MC members have a computer with Internet connection and a phone, they will be able to participate in a WebEx meeting and ability to view all documents, participating as though they were in the room.
- Staff meetings. Some centres have staff who are unable to attend staff meetings because they are located remotely away from the main office, to save time, they attend via a phone hook-up. Comments that we often hear is that the staff members attending by phone feel they are not being included in the meeting and that they are forgotten about during the meeting. Webex may assist with alleviating this issue. Sharing a webcam so workers attending from remote offices can see who is at the meeting, putting up an Agenda so they are aware of what topics are going to be discussed are a couple of ways that may make the meeting a more inclusive environment for staff.
- Meetings – there are many centres located in rural areas who are cannot attend meetings and are disadvantaged due to their location. Although teleconferencing is often used, there are occasions where a guest speaker will be in attendance or documentation that is handed out for discussion at these meetings. The person attending via phone can listen and contribute to the discussions but cannot see any documents or presentations that a guest speaker may be showing during the meeting. Webex will provide an opportunity for attendees to see any presentations or documents being shown in a meeting.
- Professional Development – CLSIS online training has been successfully delivered using Webex. Other opportunities arise from time to time where staff from other centres provide training to other staff members or the sector utilising WebEx.
- On-line Advice Service – Some centres have setup computers at remote locations, for example at a community health centre in a regional town, and can then give advice to clients who cannot travel to the service location. Adding video conferencing greatly enhances the experience of advice and support provision for both the client and the advisor. You can hold a “virtual face-to-face” advice session with anybody who has a computer, Internet and a Webcam.
WebEx is not a substitute for teleconferencing. WebEx allows users to interact via video conferencing and share resources to work on them together in real-time. If you just want to talk, book a teleconference, don't use WebEx!
Guest speaker stranded en-route to venue
Webex has been able to provide a solution in a situation where the guest speaker, located in another state, was unable to fly to a meeting to provide a presentation due to planes being grounded as a result of the Volcanic ashes.
At very short notice, training on Webex was provided to both the guest speaker (from NACLC), and the centre holding the meeting. The speaker was able to share a powerpoint presentation and website, as well as use webcam during the meeting. This enhanced the meeting for those who were unable to get to the meeting who, along with those who were physically at the meeting, could see the powerpoint presentation, website and the guest speaker, something they would not have been able see if they were only attending via a teleconference.
Finish that submission!
A CLC staff member was working on a submission for funding in conjunction with another agency. Both parties input was required to complete the submission and to save time, a Webex meeting was held. They were able to share the document, make amendments to the submission and save the changes very easily. This was a convenient and easy way to complete the task without the inconvenience of having to leave the office and travel to a destination to work on the submission.
Deliver training without the fuss
Online professional development training has been provided by CLC staff to the sector on an area of law. Webex made delivery of the training less onerous for the host without the need to worry about a venue, catering, very little time taken up to organise, and less stress.