FAQ

Sector

Topic

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
K-12
University

What are some examples of how teachers have used Portals before?

Programming & Curation
  • Spanish language teachers use the Portal to give their students dynamic real-world conversation practice with native speakers in Mexico City.
  • History teachers use the Portal to give their students contact with real people from the countries they study, from Rwanda to Iraq.
  • Literature students connect from the USA to Afghanistan to explore Arabic antecedents to Shakespeare.
Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

Who will I be connecting to?

Programming & Curation

This depends on the Portal programming. Every Portal is staffed by Portal Curator who facilitates conversations and ensures that all encounters are productive.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

How are Portals different from traditional video conferencing tools?

Portals Vision & Operations
  • The Experience: A Portal connection is designed to allow for direct eye contact and full-body communication. The ability to see yourself is eliminated, and the interior of the environments are uniform across the network. The enclosed space gives participants the sense of being in the same room.
  • The Participants: While existing communication tools connect you with those you already know, Portals connect you with those you would not otherwise meet. These interactions are designed to build understanding among people of different backgrounds and worldviews, and to highlight diverse communities around the world.
  • The Network: All Portals are staffed by a Curator who facilitates (and translates) conversations and connects each site to its local community. We then tap into this global network of sites and communities to program dialogues, activities, and performances on topics that are important to both Portal sites.
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space
Media

Can you tell me more about what a Curator does?

Programming & Curation

Curators are a mix of community organizer, gallery manager, and multidisciplinary technologist. They organize and program content and conversations both from and for their communities. They are the first face visitors encounter when they arrive at a Portal and often provide language interpretation. 
Curators manage a Portal’s day-to-day operations and activities and serve as a bridge between the Portal and the host community. Curators are also trained to operate and troubleshoot the Portal technology and are a general go-to resource for Portal visitors and participants.  
During a connection, Curators will serve as facilitators, and will step in to provide a prompt or facilitate the conversation. When not at the Portal, Curators work with Shared_Studios’ programming team, the 30+ other Portal Curators across our global network, and local student groups and faculty members to organize specific dialogues or activities to take place in the Portal. Portals work best when programming is locally driven and developed.

University
K-12

How do I prepare my students for their Portal connection?

Programming & Curation

Shared_Studios provides a primer to students before their connections.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

What are the specifications of a Portal Container?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Please visit our Structures page for details.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

How are Portal Containers installed?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Please visit our Structures page for details.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

How are Portal Inflatables installed?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Please visit our Structures page for details.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

What are the specifications of a Portal Inflatable?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Please visit our Structures page for details.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

What are the interior dimensions required for a room Portal or custom Portal?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Please visit our Structures page for details.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

What makes your virtual conversations unique?

Virtual Conversations
  • Discovery, not training
  • Conversations, not talks
  • Participatory, not passive
  • Intimate, not performative
  • Intentional, not free-for-alls
Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

How do I ensure I look my best in a virtual conversation?

Virtual Conversations
  • Lighting | In order to appear clearly, make  sure your face is brighter than your background. Make sure you are not backlit and instead, have a light next to your computer and in front of you. Consider taking advantage of natural light by setting your laptop in front of a window or sitting where the light from a ceiling or floor lamp shines on you.
  • Backdrop | If possible, wear a color that contrasts with your backdrop so that you can be seen clearly. It’s best to wear a solid color, as busier prints can often look blurry on camera.
  • Framing | You’ll also want to consider how you fit into your frame. Viewers should be able to see your head and shoulders, and have some headroom on top. You want some space - but not too much - between the top of your head and the top of the frame.
  • Audio **| **If possible, use a pair of headphones when presenting as it will prevent your microphone from picking up the sound from your computer speakers.  If you have a headset with a mouth piece that’s better.