Today, we’re announcing a host of great new features in our Virtual Classroom. These will be rolling out automatically in waves to users over the next few weeks; some of you have been using them already during our limited beta period, but for many of you, this will be your first time seeing some really significant enhancements:
- Active noise cancellation: Participants no longer need to wear headphones to avoid echo and achieve high-quality voice communications. The virtual classroom now allows entire groups of students in a single location to interact with a remote instructor using a single microphone.
- 6-way video: Previously, classes were limited to four video streams. Up to six participants in a class can now broadcast from their webcams simultaneously; the instructor can switch among students and shift to full-screen video or a new 6-way conference view.
- Improved screen sharing: Users can now use the latest Flash technologies to share single applications, single windows, or their desktops, preventing viewers from seeing unwanted applications or notifications and allowing participants to focus on the task at hand.
- Breakout rooms: Instructors can place attendees into virtual breakout rooms, assigning student moderators for each. Participants can send messages to the instructor, whether or not he or she is in a particular breakout room and instructors can bring students back into the main room at any time.
- New tools for managing participants: Audio, video, and writing controls can now be assigned en masse to participants and attendees can be searched and filtered.
- Improved PowerPoint conversion engines: Importing PowerPoint decks is now faster and concurrent uploads of multiple presentations is more efficient.
Users can wait for the phased rollout or can request a free upgrade to the new virtual classroom by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. New accounts will have access to the updates immediately. Once your account is upgraded, you can choose to use either the previous version of the VC (at least for now as we make this available to users and get your feedback for the first month or so) or the updated virtual classroom when you’re scheduling classes (see the screenshot below)
This release marks the culmination of months of development and user feedback, incorporating powerful new features and a whole lot of feedback from our users. For our users, thank you for using WizIQ and for all of the comments and suggestions! For those of you who haven’t tried WizIQ yet, give it a spin by clicking here.