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WebConferencing

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

Web Conferencing Options

 

There are many ways you can conduct conferences online. There is no "one size fits all" web conferencing system. For instance, most web conferencing software should work great if all you need to see is the person's face. However, if you want to view an entire room of people and demonstrate something or show a product, you would want to use a more interactive type of video conferencing system like we have at BSU: Tandberg, http://www.tandberg.com/products/video_systems/index.jsp

 

One of the important points you should remember is that this market is evolving QUICKLY and is CHANGING CONSTANTLY. Therefore, you need to think about the sustainability and reliability of the product you want to use. Sure, there are tons of free programs out there, but it is really and UNKNOWN how long they will be available and if they will always be free. So, this knowledge should affect your decision-making process.

 

Free Software

 

  1. WizIQ is a free web-conferencing software that I have used. It's pretty good, offers whiteboard, presentation, recording, and its strength is that you can use other content on the system. It fits in the social networking model of sharing knowledge.
  2. WebHuddle is called "Alternative Communication" and is also a pretty good web conferencing tool. They have some examples on their website and you can sign up for a free account.
  3. DimDim is in Alpha stages and is not yet available (although I understand from Val that ISU is using it as a plug in with Moodle, their Learning Management System. The software needs to be installed (and of course managed) on a server, but participants don't need any additional software. It looks pretty robust and has features like presentation/whiteboard/video/text chat that are basic, but required stuff.
  4. Skype offers plug ins that add to the functionality of this free communication service. They have conferencing plug ins that allow small groups to meet and tons of other programs. Take a look at their site and download the software to try it out.

 

$$$$$

 

  1. Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional
    • I heard from Adobe and they were supposed to call me back with a price quote, but still haven't heard back from them. I would provide a ball-park figure in the $10 to $20K range for about 5 to 10 users for a yearly licensing fee that would include using the Adobe server along with support (limited) to host all of the files/meeting.
    • The software is expensive, but includes a management portal, Adobe Presenter software that is a PowerPoint plug in to create narrated Flash presentations that will upload easily to the Adobe server, monitored quizzes, reports, and a host of other options. It is a VERY powerful system with a lot of tools.
  2. Microsoft Office Live Meeting
    • I downloaded the 30-day trial version and am working with this program. It looks very promising, and I'll be creating a LiveMeeting page  for information on another grant project for the Nursing Department here at BSU.
  3. Elluminate
    • This software is similar to Adobe Connect Professional and again, it comes with a price. Blackboard apparently has a Bulding Block plugin that uses Elluminate, but I don't know if we can/will get it and how powerful it is/what it does. I have not been impressed by Elluminate's video capabilities.

 

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