Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Silence your Cameras!

We should have expected this, it was just bound to happen.  But when it came, it still took many aback.

I am talking about the use of smartphone cameras to capture speaker slides during presentations.  I recently attended the AMEE 2012 meeting and noticed a large segment of the audience taking endless photos during presentations.  They took multiple photos of one slide either because the shot was not focused or the speaker was building the sliding via animation and they missed some bullet points.

Personally I have no problem with this practice.  I have been doing this myself in a limited manner using my Motorola Xoom tablet and Evernote.  The problem is that people are forgetting to mute their cameras and can be irritating and distracting to the people around them.  When many people start taking multiple photos, the issue can be quite serious.

At one session one of the audience members got so upset that she got up and asked everyone to silence their cameras.  I expect that presenters will soon be adding something on their first slide to ask the audience to silence their cameras.