Picking a Lecture Capture product to test, with a focus on affordable entry and scalable tech and licensing.
Last week, in the 3rd post in this series, I combed through a half dozen LC vendors' websites looking for insight into the hardware required to try out these tools, and the scalability of their technology and licensing models. My goal is to trial one of these solutions, and to do so in a way that gives me something we can easily build on. Based on information I came across on their sites, I settled on Tegrity, Panopto, and Elluminate for a closer look.
This week I had some informative conversations with representatives from Tegrity and Panopto. I learned a good deal and share much of it below. As for Elluminate, as I learned more about their offerings, it confirmed that they're really a horse of a different color, primarily geared towards live broadcast.
Tegrity & Panopto Product Similarities
- Client (recording workstation) requirements: Both of these solutions use the technology available on the client computer, along with an installed recording app, to capture lecture materials (versus some other vendors that offer proprietary capture stations).
- Server requirements: They both offer hosted solutions. Panopto also provides a local server option.
- Captured content: Each app allows for the capture and playback of video, audio, associating files and links.
- Storage and upload of captured materials: Both of these apps store captured materials locally (on the client computer) during capture and then let the user upload to the central server, which processes and prepares the materials for broadcast.
- Indexing and searching of content: The indexing and resulting search-ability of course materials is one of the great features about these applications. Tegrity appears to have an advantage in this area, with a patented “search anything” engine that indexes any text content that stays on the screen for 20 seconds or longer, along with the contents of Powerpoint slides and other files (if I understand correctly, Panopto only indexes Powerpoint slides).
- ‘Sectioning' of video: Another standard function of these systems is to break video into more manageable sections.
I highly recommend that interested readers take a look at examples of captured lectures, available from both vendors (click here to view an example lecture captured with Panopto's product, and here to view some Tegrity examples).
Further product and vendor insights, and some product differences
Panopto representative Rob Toe was a great help at helping me understand how CourseCast works, and familiarizing me with options for trying it at my school.
CourseCast comes is two basic versions – a core app, and a premier version. They've made the premier version accessible for trial for a limited period at no cost (no licensing, and no equipment requirements beyond the basic client functionality, since it's hosted). One way to implement CourseCast on a larger scale for a manageable cost is to opt in to their Socrates program, which positions you to run their core product on your own server for free (and one server can provide for a pretty large user base).
As to the differences between these two levels of product, the premium version includes a Mac compatible recorder, user analytics/reporting, and enhanced integration with Learning Management Systems.
Tegrity Rep Gay Katilius provided an insightful and informative demonstration of the product, and also provided a test account for me to use to get the apps hands on and give it a real workout!
Tegrity boasts some nice features, including excellent integration with a variety of Course/Learning Management Systems, and Student Information Systems, along with LDAP or AD integration for authentication, and social networking linkages to tools like Facebook. From an end user perspective, their Bookmarking feature is worth mentioning, this allows students to easily bookmark content they are viewing with predefined bookmarks (such as “Unclear”, or “Important”) for follow up.
As for entry level licensing, “Tegrity Lite” allows for the recording of 3 courses for 1 year, for free. Since the solution is fully hosted, you don't need anything but a capable client computer (Mac or PC) with the free recording client app installed.
These two apps have more similarities than differences. Tegrity has made is so easy for me to try their app, it's pretty much a no-brainer to go ahead with trialing it. I should point out that this effort is not requirements-driven, but is instead focused on introducing this technology to faculty, and simply raising awareness of it. After I test this out a bit and share it with others, I'll share some observations and thoughts here.
Next week I'll be announcing the winner(s) of the “Great Use of Ed Tech” story contest. I've received some great stories and look forward to sharing them with you, and to doing a full length post on the winning story.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Learning about Lecture Capture Technology
Learning about Lecture Capture – Part 2 (features and functions)
Lecture Capture Part 3: Looking for scalable entry-level options