Lectures via Skype? Why not?

For someone in my position when it comes to academic and professional interests, geographical isolation is one of the biggest barriers between me and a large number of opportunities: Conferences, speaking opportunities and job opportunities, virtually all of which lie outside of New Zealand.

I’d like to think that there are enough people who have listened to the podcast and appreciated what they’ve heard that the barrier works the other way around. Perhaps you’d have otherwise been interested in having me pop by for a guest lecture or seminar, but you’re in Texas (or Sydney or London) and I’m in New Zealand.

Thanks to internet technology, the world has shrunk vastly and is still doing so. More and more often I’m seeing examples of people who are delivering one-off lectures or facilitating discussion as a visitor without actually being physically present. In particular, the quality of Skype has improved considerably over the last few years to the point where a guest lecture delivered via Skype (assisted with a data projector and decent speakers), if done well, is absolutely viable and not at all a second rate option.

In the past I’ve given public talks on: Philosophy of religion, the place of faith in public, abortion, ethical theory, philosophy of mind / human nature (from a philosophical as well as a theological and biblical point of view), church history, political philosophy, epistemology, justice and human rights, reasons to believe, death and the afterlife (from a theological and biblical viewpoint), as well as the parables of Jesus.

You can also check out the podcast for subject matter that I’ve spoken on before. Click the “Subscribe via iTunes” button over on the right if you have iTunes installed, and you’ll be able to see all the podcast episodes in the iTunes store, or peruse the “podcast” category here at the blog. And of course, I’m always open to suggestions.

So how about it? If you’d be interested in having me speak in your classroom or other gathering (and aren’t in the “buying Glenn an airline ticket” mood), drop me a line. The world is a small place.

Glenn Peoples

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8 thoughts on “Lectures via Skype? Why not?

  1. Glenn, no American evangelical college would let you do this.

    They would run the very real risk of their students learning stuff that they’re not allowed to.

  2. Chris – you might be right, but an American law school is exactly where Glenn needs to strut his stuff. We’ll let our students learn anything, so long as they don’t actually believe it afterward.

    I’ll forward this to the relevant who bring in our outside speakers. In some cases the presenter would want to have you at a dedicated distance learning / video conferencing facility and would likely pay for it (since that would be way cheaper than the plane ticket and we wouldn’t have to feed or house you either) — if someone else were picking up the tab, would you have any way to make that arrangement?

  3. Dan, no doubt it can be done, I know there are videoconference sites here in Dunedin where that sort of thing happens. I’ll ask around. I say Skype FTW, but I’m open to all options.

  4. I can’t move to Auckland without first having a job in Auckland. The employment market is horrendous at the moment. I have a job here in Dunedin so that’s where I stay until I get one elsewhere.

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