For the last few weeks we have be trialling a virtual classroom environment which uses software provided by Blackboard. The application is called Collaborate.
Collaborate allows you to create virtual, online spaces to which you can invite up to 100 students and colleagues and share video, audio, documents (PDFs, images and PowerPoints) and a whiteboard. If you use the Chrome browser to access Collaborate, you can also share an application such as Word, Excel, SPSS and this means one person can work on a document and the participants can watch and comment in real time.
Being able to record the session is a very useful feature of Collaborate. The recordings are stored in the Collaborate cloud and are accessible via a link which means that anyone anywhere who has the link can see the recording. The extent of editing these recording, as you can easily in Panopto, is yet to be investigated.
So far there are 35 people in the Collaborate pilot which is running currently. If you would like to test the application please contact David Biggins. Even if you don’t have students just yet, you could trial Collaborate with your colleagues, for co-creation projects with other academics, etc.