Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Posted By mwasowski      Category

As more than 500 of you know, there has been a groundswell in the last 12 months about wanting to use virtual classroom technology for lecture capture.  This was never more evident than yesterday when I had half-a-thousand educators from schools of all shapes, sizes, and locations register to learn about how they can conduct lecture capture via Wimba

Though it has always been possible to archive live online classes, help sessions, or meetings held in virtual classrooms, the definition of ‘lecture capture’ means a few different things depending on who you ask.  I’ve found three pervasive definitions:

1) To capture activity in a face-to-face classroom
2) To capture activity in a live online classroom
3) To simultaneously capture activity in a face-to-face and live online classroom (with students attending the same class either in-person or live online)

For years, many schools have purchased separate software applications to satisfy definitions 1 and 2.  Most schools purchased a hardware-based system that allowed them to capture audio and video of instructors in a physical classroom, while the same schools also purchased a software-based system that allowed them to conduct real-time virtual classes – and subsequently archive them.  But now that pennies are tight as budgets get stretched, it seems that many schools are finding ways to utilize virtual classroom technology to satisfy all their capturing needs.

Most schools already have a bevy of microphones, speakerphones, and video cameras.  Now that Wimba Classroom inputs can accommodate countless a/v devices, schools are now figuring out that they can use their existing a/v equipment, hook it into Wimba Classroom, and suddenly be able to not only capture in-room classes, but can even pipe those classes live to online students and record all that activity as well.  Truly killing two birds with one software.

Though several schools (most notably California State University Chico) have been capturing face-to-face and live online classes for years, the majority of institutions worldwide are just starting to explore this now.  However, if the high volume of interest in yesterday’s lecture capture presentation is any indication, Chico State’s going to have a lot of company sooner than later.