The Elizabethtown Campus has undergone some rather exciting changes. Faculty and Staff have previously used WebEx, which is a software known for web conferencing, for all its web conferencing needs. However, that will no longer be the case. Elizabethtown, beginning immediately, will have access to Zoom Web Conferencing. Other forms of Web Conferencing are still available but as a campus Zoom will be the prime choice. As a college we will be pushing for all to use Zoom.
Some may ask why the campus chose to switch and what can be done with this new tool. The answer would be everything that WebEx was able to do. However, the catch is that Zoom makes everything much easier. The video quality is clear and crisp and there is no longer a problem with the audio.
The benefits of this switch can be seen in many ways, one of the more prominent features being the ability to conference anywhere from virtually any device. If you are unavailable to be on campus, the students can still be taught from the comfort of your own home. Students themselves can also take advantage of this opportunity. If a student is ill and can’t make it to class, Zoom will be there to save the day.
In the words of Linda Macaulay the Instructional Technologist here at Elizabethtown, “It brings the outside world in.” Linda herself has taught a class with her being at home ill while her students were in the classroom, all thanks to Zoom Web Conferencing.
One of the main flaws, according to many with WebEx and other web conferencing softwares, such as Skype and Facetime is; reliability. With Zoom, that is no longer a worry. “With WebEx, I had to be on call.” said Macaulay. When talking about syncing audio with WebEx, Linda had to hold up a post-it note describing directions. With Zoom, “it is obvious” she said. There is a large green button that says connect audio.
When speaking of the switch, Doctor Hughes of the communications department said “I am always eager to try new technology.” Hughes thinks that Zoom will enrich the Elizabethtown community by the shared experiences that could be shown by alumni. Students would get the chance to see how what they are doing in the classroom is relevant to what they will be doing in the future.
Jacob Mengel, sophomore here at Elizabethtown said that he was also eager to have Zoom potentially increase his educational experience.
Hopefully this new tool will expand both faculty and student relation and increase the educational atmosphere that is engraved into Elizabethtown College.