from Technology & Learning
Real-time online conference rooms for educators on the move.
Drop 150 people from around the world—many with only emerging technology skills—into a real-time e-learning and Web conferencing room that uses chat, voice, video, and whiteboard text and graphics and one would think you have the makings of pure chaos.
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista, PentiumIII 500 MHz processor, 256MB RAM; Mac OS X (10.2.8,10.39,10.4), G3, G4, G5, or Intel processor, 256MB RAM
Price: Starting at $36 per seat.
Pros: Synchronized note taking; improved accessibility features; highquality video; indexed recordings; amazing stability.
Cons: Price, in light of the emerging competitive freeware solutions; Java Web Start technology is slightly intimidating; there is a learning curve.
Not so with Elluminate Live! Version 8. Putting it to the test during the recent K12 Online Conference, Elluminate V8 performed flawlessly.
In its newest version, Elluminate increases the interactivity of a realtime online session, creating a seamless user experience regardless of ability, operating system, or available bandwidth. As with previous versions, V8 easily integrates with Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, WebCT, and eCollege learning management systems.
New features include:
Improved Twoâ€“Way Video. Higherresolution video allows moderators and participants to project video images in fine detail. Users can take snapshots of the video feeds and post still images to the whiteboard. Various size and color options are available depending on users' bandwidth capabilities.
Synchronized Notes. Participants can take notes in a separate window during a live session and choose to save or to share. In addition, notes can be edited while reviewing an archived recording. The embed text feature makes placement of text on whiteboard screens much simpler for moderators on the fly.
Improved Accessibility Features. V8 includes multiple streams of closed captioning, enlarged video, auditory event notification, shortcut keys, and screen reader access.
With today's changed learning landscape, users expect a dynamic, engaging online experience that is interactive. V8 delivers. With its timers and pop-up announcements, the breakout rooms become an easy solution to creating small group discussion within the context of the large meeting.
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (www.21stcenturycollaborative.com) is a techLEARNING blogger and speaks on leadership and virtual community building.