Ripping Through Tools

This first week of teaching my online Graduate course was as expected, many technical issues, some student frustration, and a few early successes. Here are some highlights (the good and the bad) of the week.

1) Adobe Connect was working fairly well in most of the tests I had with Twitterverse members prior to the beginning of the course. However, I have some criticisms of its performance so far.

    - Audio conferencing performance has been poor.
    - Screensharing features cause crashes.
    - Session recordings are missing significant chunks of audio.
    - Connect needs more granular permissions, if students are able audio/video enabled, then can then do a lot more (e.g., opening, closing Windows which effect all users).

The experience was better as we went along. However, it looks like I will be trying (the much more expensive) Elluminate next week.

2) I finally got a chance to play with Yugma and Yugma Skype. Yugma is a simple and very nice screen-sharing tool. However, Yugma lacks integrated audio. YugmaSkype is a modified version which integrates Skype directly into Yugma. While certainly you can just run both applications at the same time, it is nice to have these tools a bit more integrated, especially for novice users.

I’m thinking about Yugma and how it could be used as a tool for the hands-on sessions in my course. YugmaSkype would work fine for these, with groups under 10 participants. For larger groups, I’d have to find an alternate audio-conferencing tool as there are limitations on Skype conference calls.

Note: Yugma is now giving away free Premium accounts (connect up to 10 people) to bloggers show sign up before Jan 31, 2008.

I tried setting up a Skypecast, but I was never able to get a session running. I have tried Skypecasts from 5-7 times since they’ve been available, and I have yet to have one work. I am not sure what the issues is.

I then tried setting up several audio conferences through highspeedconferencing.com and each conference worked very well, and I connected up to 10 people without a problem. And, the pricing seems reasonable for this type of service. Participants are given the option to call via Skype (free), a toll free number or a toll number.

3) As a sort of personal note, I somehow managed to hit #1 on Tweeterboard.com this week. I am not sure what that means, it’s really more silly than meaningful. I know many people have done so already, but at some points I am going to write something on the importance of Twitter for my own personal learning. Honestly, it has been unbelievable. I love my network, and I have benefited so much from my new and old connections.

Number One Tweeterboarder!

4) Oh, and one last thing. I am having a great time with the 366/2008 photo pool project thingy (inspired by D’Arcy Norman’s very impressive work). Check out my 366/2008 photo set here, or check out the 366/2008 Flickr group with 28 current members. There are some great photos here!

To be continued.

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  • https://www.yugma.com jess

    wonderful! i use yugma with team meetings and training. i’ve heard that they’ve got very cool things coming up in the next couple months – which i’m excited about.

    thanks for the blog offer heads-up! just got my account! this is awesome.

  • https://www.yugma.com Connie @ Yugma

    Hi Alec,
    This is Connie from Yugma. On behalf of Yugma with our One Year Anniversary, I would like to thank you for mentioning us on your site and helping us to spread the word about our product. The blogging community had had an integral part in making Yugma one of the fastest growing real-time web collaborations services in 2007 with over 100,000 users to date.
    To express our thanks, we’re donating/sponsoring Yearly Premium Yugma accounts (valued at $99.50) to bloggers who simply ask. To learn more about this program and how to get your sponsored Yugma account, check out the details on the Yugma blog – linked below.
    http://www.yugma.com/blog/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=261&Itemid=1
    Please be sure to check this out soon! The window to request your account through the Yugma Blogger Program will be through the end of January, 2008.
    With Greatest Appreciation,
    Connie and the rest of the Yugma Team
    PS: Be sure to stay tuned! Yugma is set to release new features and improved performance in the next few weeks and months. To keep informed of all the happenings, check out http://www.yugma.com under the news and blog.