Today WiZiQ launched its newest version of their virtual classroom environment. The new version promises to have a better sound quality, you can stream video of up to four participants, the whiteboard has new features and also the media player got a make over.
But with every upgrade there might come some teething pains so lets do a quick check in case you plan to have a class on WiZiQ, soon.
First of all you need to know that the new classroom runs on Flash 10 only so before you and your students have a class you should make sure that everyone has installed the newest version of the Flash plugin. I put the download link below this post.
From a first test I can already say: it does not work in Google Chrome so make sure to use it in Firefox or the Internet Explorer. I tested both and it worked for me.
Otherwise the new classroom makes a solid impression. The look is a bit more “serious” into the direction of a classic webmeeting whereas the version before was a bit more “childish” with big buttons and icons.
The content loads fast, pdf documents are automatically centered on the whiteboard which is nice. Although WiZiQ added new features to the whiteboard it still is pretty clearly arranged which was one of the misgivings of some teachers who liked to use the old version because of its simplicity.
Here is a complete list of the new features:
1. Improved Audio and Video
• View videos of four participants simultaneously
• Enjoy much improved, latency-free audio
2. Feature-rich Whiteboard and Interface
• Cut/copy/paste, group, ungroup, bring objects back/forth, or rotate the shapes on the whiteboard
• Rename whiteboards
• Change the background colors of the whiteboard
• Add a grid to the background for drawings
• Minimize or move windows within the whiteboard area
• Use emoticons in your chat
• Handle the new ‘File’ and ‘Edit’ menus
3. New-look Media Player
• Select videos from your playlist history in the content library
I will use the new classroom tomorrow for the first time and will update this post with my experience about the actual behavior in a live class.