As food co-ops continually look for ways to make co-op meetings more accessible, many are finding that recording meetings like the annual meeting are one way to do that. It can be an ideal solution for or people who have a scheduling conflict, are not physically able to attend, or even for people like future members to find out what happened at the meeting. “The obvious value is to not let the valuable information, keynote speeches, and ideas shared at these gatherings to disappear. You can capture that for people who can’t be there, preserve it for your own institutional history, and share it outward, for the benefit of all co-ops,” said Joel Brock, an information technologist who works in the food co-op sector.
According to Brock, all you need is a video camera (which can be rented) and a way to upload the video once it’s finished. This can be a do-it-yourself project with a staff member familiar with the technology, or a co-op can hire someone to do this. “Online services make it really affordable,” Brock said. Social media can also help the co-op promote the meetings, and widen the circle of accessibility to greater numbers of people.
Some co-ops are also investigating the potential for live streaming of their meetings, and some are even making it possible for remote individuals to participate in real time. “This opens up new avenues of participation as well. Time and energy spent communicating the cooperative difference in an accessible and public way is time and energy well-spent,” Brock said.
TED (Technology, Education and Design) was created to give a platform to Ideas Worth Spreading, and many of the videos featured on their site are famous. TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. The TED-Ed site, launched in April 2012, allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student. http://www.ted.com/pages/initiatives_ted-ed