Technology Tips for Your Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Author: Tyler Cox

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A graduation ceremony is typically a time for celebration, whether it's a middle-school child making the transition to high school, a young adult obtaining their college degree, or anyone in between. Family and friends gather at the ceremony to cheer on the accomplishments of the graduate. 

 

Unfortunately, as was the case in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person graduation gatherings have been canceled. Still, there's a way to share in the graduate's accomplishments: via a virtual graduation ceremony. Today's technological tools allow those celebrations to be captured electronically and broadcast around the world over the Internet.

 

But holding a virtual ceremony is more than just setting up a webcam and capturing the proceedings on a computer. Many schools attempted virtual graduation ceremonies 2020, with fails ranging from blank screens and audio dropouts to the proceedings being taken over by hackers.

 

So to help schools avoid those same issues this year, here are a few virtual graduation ideas and tips on how to do a virtual graduation without it turning into a disaster:

 

MAKE IT MORE THAN A SINGLE EVENT

Of course, the centerpiece of the ceremony is likely to be a live presentation hosted via a dedicated website, but when considering virtual graduation ideas, consider including pre recorded presentations as well. Those could include video tours of the campus and/or testimonials from alumni discussing the impact the school had on their lives.

 

LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS

Virtual events are likely to be a part of our lives for the long term, so it makes sense to try and perfect the process. Check out what other schools have done and plan to do, and don't be afraid to borrow the best ideas. Although peeking over someone else's shoulder might go against most educational traditions, in this case, it's perfectly acceptable.

 

HOLD SEVERAL PRACTICE SESSIONS

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The best way to avoid technological missteps is to run through the entire ceremony not once but several times. Sure, it may take a few hours, but those practice sessions will hopefully reveal any weaknesses in the process and allow you to correct them.

 

USE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

Some of the biggest complaints about the 2020 virtual graduations included poor audio and blurry video. When it comes to virtual graduation software, explore your options and poll colleagues to see which conferencing software offers the best performance (and security) to suit your needs. You'll want to record the proceedings for those who can't attend the live ceremony, so make sure the package includes the ability to record for as long as you expect it to take.

 

While you're at it, consider a wireless microphone system such as Yamaha UC's Education Wireless Microphone Audio Kit. A wireless microphone allows speakers to move out from behind the podium, making for a more interesting and lively presentation.

 

PROMOTE THE EVENT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

Include links for family and friends to share. Unlike a traditional in-person graduation, where attendance is limited, virtual graduation ceremonies can be celebrated by thousands, ranging from family and friends to faculty, alumni, and the soon-to-be freshman who plan to kick off their college career in the fall. Not only can the ceremony serve as a celebration, but it can also be a recruiting tool as well.

 

While you're preparing for the festivities, don't overlook those on campus who might want to attend, virtually speaking. Learn more about Yamaha UC's video conferencing system for huddle rooms here.