Monday, February 13, 2006

Online Classrooms

Since joining Webhead in Action I've been introducted to 2 fantastic applications called Elluminate (as used by Learning Times) and Alado. Both of these pieces of kit have really blow me away. There is so much potential for both (and I'm sure many are already using them both really well).

Some notes comparing the two:

Elluminate (Learning Times) – Has many more features. You can arrange for the session to be recorded or do it yourself using Audacity. It is also possible for users to 'share their desktop'. It is more modular and means you can disconnect parts of the page into different windows therefore personalising your experience. For example I like to have the text chat in a nice big window. I also like to have the window of the participants extended to I can see what everyone is doing in terms of writing, emoting etc etc. There is also more functionality in regards to the white board and control of users browsing. On the whole I find Elluminate easier to use but then again I have very high expectations having been a techie working specifically in usability.

Alado – allows for individual recording of a session which is nice feature. The use of content seems to be limited only embedded to web pages. You can't upload files to it. The lack of extra features means it is really aimed at users with slow connection and older operating systems. There is also no whiteboard pluggin (apparently this keeps the application lighter for speed). Also only 1 web cam can be used and only if embedded. There is also less moderator control – you can lock the browser but if the user wanders off then the moderator just has to keep pushing the page they want them to be on. Alado is a more limited application but it is lighter and that gives it a big advantage in some cases.


Blogger Berta said...

Thanks, Kat, for such a complete summary of the features, pros and cons of Learning Times (Elluminate) and Alado. I can tell you that I have participated in both at a very slow connection (26.4) and was able to listen, speak and chat anyway. I did have problems at times, but I got the gist of the presentations anyway.
Warmly from Caracas ... ;-))

6:24 PM  

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