Have you ever wished you could bring a remote speaker to your class? Ever wanted to conduct an online meeting with people from afar? Teach a class online with a synchronous component? If so, there are a couple of options available to you.
CTS has been working on making two different web-conferencing services available. They are both software-based solutions using Skype or Elluminate.
You may have used Skype before from home to see and communicate with friends or family. For those that might not have used it before, Skype allows you to communicate with someone online using your computer, a webcam and a microphone. Skype requires that both people have an account created with them. Once you are both logged in, one can “call” the other to initiate a conversation. Skype is good for one-to-one communication. It does not have the ability to call more than one person. Not yet, anyway.
Elluminate is also web-conferencing software that can be used to communicate online with many people that are physically in different locations. As with Skype, you can use a webcam and microphone to communicate. It also has some features geared towards teaching and learning including break-out rooms where the presenter can divide the online participants into groups to work on activities, sharing of computer desktops or applications, sharing of files and multimedia, polling activities, Powerpoint presentations and whiteboard areas.
When might you use Skype on-campus? Perhaps you need to collaborate with another person at a different university for research or a presentation for an upcoming seminar or conference. Perhaps you would like to invite a presenter into your class, but they cannot be physically present. You could “call” them on Skype and present them to your class using an Advanced Technology Classroom (ATC).
All ATCs have Skype installed on the podium computer ready for you to use. If you would like to have Skype installed on your office computer, you may do so from the LanDesk Desktop Manager. Simply go to the Start Menu->Programs->LANDesk Management->Desktop Manager. In the window that opens up, click the checkbox next to “Skype” and click the “Deploy” button.
When might you use Elluminate? Some examples include online office hours, teaching a class, teaching a workshop, holding online meetings, all with people that are physically located in different areas.
Anybody wishing to use Elluminate from within ANGEL may do so by enabling the Elluminate nugget and then simply creating a room and instructing their students to enter the room on a certain date/time. Presenters not using ANGEL will need to have an Elluminate account and room created. Participants do not need an account to participate. The presenter just needs to send them the link to the room and the date/time to enter.
Anyone who would like to use either Skype or Elluminate and needs a webcam or headset can request one by visiting the Technology Support Center in 26 Lanigan Hall during normal business hours.
Please review our CTS Web Conferencing options web site for further details.