e-Rooms Tools - Detailed Description
The Main Interface
The main interface can be used by participants and leaders alike to indicate applause, laughter, Yes or No answers, and to step out of an event briefly. For a leader all of these actions can be accessed through the "Actions" menu on the toolbar. Participants in an event can use the default toolbar they will first see when logging in:
Text chat allows participants without a microphone or speakers to collaborate in sessions. This tool can also be used to communicate during a session where the leader is lecturing, but the audience still needs to communicate in realtime without interrupting the audio.
This tool can be used like an internet telephone. Any participant in a session can click on the "speak" icon:
to have their voice broadcast to the rest of the participants in the session. In addition to being able to toggle your microphone on and off there is also a "lock" button that will allow a lecturer to lock the microphone reception button into the "on" position if they will be speaking for an extended period of time.
Like any on-line collaborative whiteboard, the e-Rooms system supports the ability to outline, draw diagrams, and input text that will be broadcast in realtime to the audience.
e-Rooms supports the ability to share any application on the leaders machine with the remote audience. The sharing can be done on multiple levels - either in "show and tell" mode (where the audience can see everything the leader is doing in the application) or in "edit together" mode where participants who have been granted access can actually co-edit a document on the leader's machine. To use this tool a leader would first open all of the applications on their machine that they wish to share with the remote audience. Then, during the session they would click on the "Tools...>Share Application" menu which would open up a list of all running applications that they would be able to select from:
To select an application to share the leader would check off the box next to the application in question and then click OK.
The e-Rooms survey tool allows the leader to poll the audience anonymously in realtime by setting up a small series of multiple choice questions and then making those questions available to the entire audience.
Leaders of e-Rooms sessions have the ability to set up "Agendas" that they can use when leading a collaboration session. An agenda can be made up of powerpoint slides, links to webpages, or a combination of both. To create an agenda a leader can login to an event before it begins and then click the "Insert..." menu to select the type of item they would like to add. After they have built the agenda they can click on the green stoplight icon to begin the session - after beginning the session the entire audience will see each agenda item as the leader scrolls through them by clicking on the item icons in the lower left hand corner of the collaboration environment window.
Leaders of e-Rooms sessions can select the websafari tool to open a common web browser. The contents of this browser will be controled by the presenter and displayed to the remote audience.
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