New format/venue for Monthly online classes?

Over the past few months, a significant number of people have asked me to look into a different format and venue for the monthly CMI/InterNACHI online classes. I’ve been doing the classes for the past year but they are sponsored by CMI and we use the CMI Forum. It is not my place to move the venue without the approval of the CMI folks and InterNACHI.

It seems that some people have difficulty logging in to the CMI Forum and being able to stay logged in. Others attend every month with no difficulties. As those of you who have been participating in the classes know, I’ve also been having some trouble lately with the Forum. For the past three months I get knocked off the system at least a couple of times during the class and have to log back in.

We do know that pop-up blockers cause problems. Also, dial-up connections are a problem. There’s really nothing anyone can do about troubles with dial-up connections. They just don’t have the ability to transmit data fast enough.

I know that Hank is doing all he can to work with the company that hosts the Forum. At this point, most of us are convinced that there is a problem with the hosting service.

We want everyone to have a fair opportunity to participate in the classes but as it is right now, not everyone is able to participate. I am going to experiment with doing some classes using Skype’s free conference service.

Aside from the log-in situation with the CMI Forum, attendees have long expressed a desire for two-way audio. The CMI Forum does not have that capability. The Skype system has both two-way audio and text.

I am looking for a small group to experiment with the Skype system with me. If it works, we can either do two sets of classes, one one the CMI Forum and one on Skype or we can propose to the CMI folks that we switch over to Skype.

If you have had trouble participating in the monthly classes and would like to try Skype, please contact me. If it means using two separate venues to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the classes, I am willing to do them twice each month.

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