Archive for the ‘Blackboard Collaborate’ Category
One of the uses to which we put our web conferencing software is the ‘Lunch and Lecture’ series which is part of an EU-sponsored Transport Technology MSc in Civil and Building Engineering.
Each month the part-time MSc students gather for a lunch followed by an afternoon of lectures on transport planning topics by guest lecturers. To promote participation from outside students, the presentations are webcast using Elluminate/Collaborate.
One problem is that the venue is rarely the same, so we have put together a kit which contains everything needed to host a Collaborate meeting in any room with power and networking points. It addresses many common problems, such as:
• Never enough power points
• Non-intrusive recording of the presenter
• Ability to field incoming comments from remote participants
The kit contains:
Logitech Sphere motorised webcam Zoom, pan and tilt allows field of view to be set from any placement of
Powered speakers To allow the local audience to hear remote questions.
Targus laser pointer + airmouse Gives presenter freedom to move around as normal and still control
presentation (provided they stay in shot!)
KAM lapel and stick radio microphones Lapel mike for presenter and stick mike for audience both feed a mixer
in the receiver = one sound input to Collaborate.
USB headset for moderator So the moderator in the room can handle audio as well as text from
Every conceivable lead, adaptor and spare batteries Because nobody ever has the one you need!
… and needs the addition of two laptops, one for the presenter and the second for a moderator.
Today’s webinar from BlackBoard Collaborate gave some detail on the plans for the Collaborate platform over the next few years.
New features promised on the roadmap:
“In the next few months” – the UK will get its own Collaborate servers. This should mean greatly reduced audio and video latency, and probably a more reliable service.
“In 2012″ - Echo cancellation in the Collaborate software to remove the echo caused by using loudspeakers. This will remove the requirement for using headsets, although you’ll still need a decent desk microphone, such as the Logitech one.
- MP4 content creation from session recordings without the use of Publish!
- integration of Collaborate with LDAP and Shibboleth authentication
- Local servers running the Server Administration System (SAS) will be able to run Collaborate 11 rather than Eluminate 10 from early 2012
“In 2013″ - Ability to participate in Collaborate sessions using tablets and smartphones (iOS first, then Android). But running a Collaborate session from any battery-powered device is NOT recommended.
As mentioned earlier, our Elluminate web conferencing package has been re-branded as BlackBoard Collaborate 11 and the new version has been made the default for all new Learn web conferences.
The new version has the same functionality as before, but looks a little less intimidating. Users of the previous system are advised to try out the new version using the Learn Staff Room’s ‘sandbox’ meeting so they know where to find the components they need to use in their sessions. In operation, the new version works exactly the same way as the previous one did.