Sunday, June 10, 2007

Web Conferencing Software: Why I Like WebEx

Over the course of last 18 or so months I have spent some time learning how to use web conferencing technologies. Have experienced BREEZE, elluminate, Microsoft Office Meeting, and WebEx. Just wish I had known about the research that Network Computing: For IT By IT, provided for users and those thinking about using web conferencing technology in April 2006.
The research review titled, Tech U: The World is Our Campus provides an overview of detailed overview of nine products and information on which two web conferencing technologies were selected for an Editor's Award. Details 40 products were weeded down to 14 for review are provided. The information on this review would be extremely helpful to colleges and businesses looking for resources to help guide local t decisions on which web conferencing technology they might want to use. It also provides report cards and information on products that received grades of A, B or C in an interactive report card .

In the review and testing process three common applications used by most people in education or business were used in the web conferencing product demonstrations. Powerpoint files, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets were tested for " ease and speed of loading these files into the application" and how well the content displayed. They also tested working in real-time on a blank PowerPoint, how easy it was to record a session and the quality of playback for voice, video and stability (Cogburn & Kurup, 2006). This review is well worth a look and provides a process for people to use to make decisions about these technologies that are similar to process that has been used to make decisions about Instructional Management Systems.

Oh, here is my list of reasons why I like WebEx:

1. Simple process to set up meetings.

2. Easy to edit and make corrections to meetings as you set them up.

3. Deceptively simple interface that allows you to learn how to:

-share applications, desktop, whiteboard, and a host of meeting tools

4. Nice meeting lay-out that is easy to move around in and I don't get lost when I host a meeting.

5. Real time training opportunities, good tutorials, and self-help documents.

6. We have an in-house super-user that helps me troubleshoot.

7. I have become familiar with it and have "meeting confidence" when I host.

8. Easy to allow others to present.

9. I have my own personal meeting room.

10. Received an Editor's Award for use in this study validating my good taste and good experiences using this web conferencing tool.

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