The College of Education, spread as it is across four campuses, is bound to latch on to Elluminate, a desktop virtual meeting and collaboration tool that will be available for free university-wide starting spring semester. What a boon for research teams and far-flung administrators. And for teachers: “Elluminate provides video, audio, Web and application sharing for faculty interested in providing courses in a real-time, online, interactive, virtual classroom environment.”
That’s a lot of adjectives. They’re backed up by one educator’s rave review of Elluminate, which notes that teachers and students are able to speak to one another via headset microphones, use direct messaging or chat, draw on a whiteboard, stream video, and share files. Students click buttons to raise their hands, ask questions or indicate they’ve stepped away. Sessions are recorded and archived. Perhaps most notably, Elluminate compresses data without loss of audio. Translation: Regardless of Internet connection speeds, there are no annoying delays between what’s said at one end and what’s heard at the other.