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Videoconferencing at UVa

Web Browsers & Software Demos

Both joint Web browsing and joint software use are termed data sharing. If both sites in a point-to-point conference use a PC-based client, or if all sites in a multipoint conference have PC-based clients, data sharing can be accomplished by means of the Shared Applications feature.

If just one of the participating sites has an appliance such as a Polycom ViewStation, however, sharing an application becomes much more difficult. The videoconference host will need to decide whether to make provision for participation by an appliance client since its full participation will influence all sites.

A site with an appliance client will need to also have a computer available. Depending on the number of persons at that site, the display may need to be projected. Remote PC-based sites must also have a separate computer (perhaps with a projected display). Essentially, these additional computers will use NetMeeting to connect to one another and share applications. Even a site with a PC-based client must use an additional computer since a NetMeeting application cannot be started separately in addition to the videoconference client. You as a person know that you don't need NetMeeting to act as the audio/video channel, but there is no way to convince the program to run in concert with a client such as the VCON Armada Escort. If a NetMeeting "slave" is started within the VCON Armada Escort software, it can only connect to the same network address as the main application, so it cannot be redirected to a different computer. In essence, two parallel electronic conferences must be used -- one for audio/video, and the other for data sharing.

  Origin: PC-based Client Origin: Appliance Origin: Netmeeting
Destination: PC-based Client Shared Application Separate data conference Shared Application
Destination: Appliance Separate data conference Separate data conference Separate data conference
Destination: Netmeeting Shared Application Separate data conference Shared Application

A very low-tech alternative to using a separate NetMeeting conference for data sharing is available . The originator of the presentation can focus the camera on the projected image of the browser or software window. The data image will thus be sent to the remote sites in the video window. This is usually not a completely legible image, but it is an alternative. It also will not allow interaction by the remote sites.

An interactive method which may be used regardless of what types of videoconference clients are employed involves an electronic whiteboard. Again, a separate NetMeeting conference is used for data sharing. The image (usually the computer screen) is projected on an electronic whiteboard. The presenter can use the electronic whiteboard features to interact with the image to push buttons, drag-and-drop, etc, just as if using a computer mouse. The application being demonstrated is shared with the remote site(s). There, the image can be viewed on a computer screen or projected on that site's electronic whiteboard. The videoconference image can show the presenter using the whiteboard or pan to other members of the meeting or class.This configuration has been used successfully in joint seminars conducted between the Curry School of Education's Center for Technology in Teacher Education and Iowa State University's Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching.

Page Updated: 2012-02-16