To get the detail and the philosophy of the new training content over to the accredited trainer base, (as well as a fresh and original delivery approach) Canonical are holding several TTT (Train The Trainer) sessions. Considering that the number of people being trained is relatively small, and they are splattered literally all over the world, arranging the logistics for such a session was not trivial.
I have attended the event run 13:00 - 17:00 EST, which put it at 18:00-22:00 “my” time. I wasn't the worst off, there were people from US, Canada, but also from countries much further East than I am, so it was even later into the night for some of them. I was a bit worried, because the joining instructions, although very clear, involved configuring technologies either totally new to me, or ones that, regrettably, I have never made a proper use of.
The underlying conferencing engine was a product new to me, called Spreed. It impressed me straight away: it supports _all_ contemporary operating systems, including MacOS and Linux. Once on Spreed site, quick test confirmed that connection speed and other communication elements are suitable for conferencing. Patiently waited for an e-mail invitation to join and, once that arrived, a single click on the link and I was in. I understand this was the first time Canonical tried this particular conferencing method for the TTT purposes, so there was new grounds to cover for both the students and the moderators. But, with few (mostly humorous) hiccups the event went very smoothly, the time past surprisingly fast and my overall impression was very positive.
Although the product supports full audio and video from all participants, we didn't use cameras at all (something about Spreed and Flash 10 being incompatible - well, we had to have hardware incompatibility ;-)). Most of us stayed away from the audio as well, the interactive and real time “chat” pane provided more than satisfactory interaction. 10 points to the moderators for looking out for our comments and reacting to them swiftly. The whole experience was smooth, painless and very effective. Thank you EmmaJane, Belinda and Billy!
Bottom line - my resistance to these elaborate e-based methods of collaboration is well and truly broken, bring them on!