You’ve got 20 people in a physical room for a meeting/class. You also want to engage with regional and remote participants.
You’re familiar with virtual classroom/meeting software but the audio from the webcam/microphone at the front of the room does not capture the conversation around the table.
Cost effective temporary solution:
Take a smartphone and install a “microphone app”. We used MicPro for the iPhone. This allows your phones built in mic to feed directly to the audio-out (headphone) socket.
Use any standard 2.5mm audio cable to connect the headphone jack on your phone, to the audio-in on your computer running the session.
The computer will see the device as a microphone.
Now, without causing a tripping hazard, place the phone in the centre of your conference table and run your virtual meeting software as usual. Ensure you select the “microphone” as the audio input device.
Bingo, the audio pickup of the smartphone will hear the conversation around the table clear enough for your remote participants to hear.
If you have the time/budget, then I of course suggest purchasing a quality conference microphone solution. But if you’re backed into a corner with the above scenario…trust me. This works.
Here is a short demonstration recording of the solution in action via Blackboard Collaborate.
View in “Collaborate format” from a laptop/desktop for best results.