How to watch the films remotely

Here are three different ways that you can watch the Sycamore films before or during your remote meeting.

There are three ways to watch the video as a remote group:

(A) Watch the film within the conferencing app, shared by the host/leader

Some apps allow you to share your screen and audio to the other participants in a conference. This is the simplest way to run Sycamore, because participants do not have to navigate from the conference app to the Sycamore website on their computer or phone (some may find this confusing). It also means that everyone is watching at exactly the same time, and the host can control the start and finish.

FOR ZOOM: See this page about Screen Sharing (and the note about “Sharing Computer Sound”).

FOR MICROSOFT TEAMS: See this page about Sharing Content (and the note about “Including Computer Sound”)

  • Make sure that your conferencing app allows screen sharing and audio sharing.
  • The main host then plays the appropriate film on their computer in another window.
  • The main host then shares the screen/window (plus audio) that is showing the Sycamore film on their computer – so that everyone else in the conference is then watching the same film from the same screen
  • It’s often better to download the video file first and play that, instead of sharing a video that you are watching online. You can download the video file from the Sycamore site before the meeting and then play the video file from your computer (because it takes up less bandwidth). Sycamore allows you to download the film files for this use: see the individual film pages here and the download links at the bottom of each page, and see the information about using subtitles with downloads here.
  • When the film asks you to PAUSE FOR DISCUSSION, the host pauses the film, stops the screen sharing, and leads the discussion, or if it is a large group puts people into breakout groups/sub-groups etc with their own leaders.
  • You can share the discussion questions in the chat box. E.g. you can copy and paste the questions from the relevant Session Guide, so that all participants have them in front of them. (NB if you share questions via chat in Zoom you must share them in chat with the whole group before you go into Breakout Rooms)
  • At the end of the discussion the host re-starts the film and re-shares the screen, etc.

(B) Ask the participants to watch the film together, but from the Sycamore website on their own computers

If screen sharing is not possible (or if it takes up too much bandwidth) you may need to ask participants to switch from their conferencing app to the Sycamore website, so that each participant is watching the film independently (but at roughly the same time).

  • You can share the specific Sycamore film link in the chat box – so people can click away to Sycamore from within the conferencing app
  • You can try to keep the conference app running at the same time as watching the film, so that people can jump back into the conference without any difficulty for the discussion. The host might want to mute the participants as they watch the film.
  • Or you may need to log out of the conference and start a new conference for the later discussion. This is not ideal!
  • Some people might not be used to switching between windows or opening multiple tabs at the same time, which is why it is worth having a pilot session with the group (or even with each individual) before the main sessions.

(C) Watch the Sycamore film separately before the Sycamore conference meeting

For some groups it might be too complicated to watch the film together, and it might be simpler and even preferable to watch the whole Sycamore film privately at home before the session, and then join each other for the meeting to have the discussion. Advantages: It reduces the risk of technical problems during the meeting, and it allows people to work through the films at their own pace. They can watch each film in stages if they are busy; or they can watch the film again if they have lots of time. Some people like to take notes and pause the film while they reflect.

  • People can view the films any time before the session. E.g. share the link to the online film the week before (and also the link to the Session Guide which contains the discussion questions). Ask people to view the film in their own time. Encourage them to take notes about what strikes them, or to spend time thinking about the questions and be prepared to share their responses.
  • Or you can encourage people to watch the film directly before the session. E.g. If you are meeting remotely at 8pm, to agree that you will all try to watch the film at 7.30pm or 7.15pm just beforehand. But this risks everyone being late! So you may want to just ask people to watch the Sycamore film in their own time earlier in the day/week – so it is still fresh in their memory.
  • When you meet as a group, you can (a) have one single discussion about anything/everything that has come up or (b) work through the three discussion periods, using the three sets of questions from that film, one set after the other. You can be as informal or as systematic as you wish – whatever works for the group, and whatever the Sycamore leadership team think will work best.


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