First, it is important to understand the concept of an Adobe Connect “Room,” which is essentially a virtual classroom with a unique link where a host and presenters participate in a session. Within a single Adobe Connect account, it is possible to have multiple rooms, each for a different instructor, event, etc. Rooms can be thought of as related to a building of classrooms, each for a specific function, teacher or purpose. For this tutorial, I am describing my room that is called “oss” for Open Source Studio. All of my classes are held in this room (see figure below).
To create a new room for teaching, a project, etc., contact the Administrator for assistance.
The following is a virtual tour of the Adobe Connect “Room”, and the various modules referred to as “Pods”:
- Video Pod: The Video Pod, for example, is where live webcams are viewed. The Video Pod can contain one or more cameras depending on the number of zpresenters who have their cameras switched on. The Video Pod can be used within the larger interface (as above), or it can be sized to full screen (see figure below) by clicking on the “full screen” button in the upper right hand corner with arrows pointing out. This full screen capability applies to any of the pods that you want to enlarge.
- Grid Mode: Note that this video pod is in “grid” mode (grid icon is two buttons to the left of the full screen icon), so that all cameras are equal in size.
- Film Strip Mode: Below is an example of the Video Pod in “filmstrip” mode, in which the host selects him/herself or one of the students to be the featured video (see figure below). This is accomplished by clicking on the icon in between the grid button and the full screen button. This mode is very useful when highlighting a speaker or a student asking a question during class discussion.
- Share Pod: This pod is used to display presentational media, such as an jpeg image, an mpeg audio file, or a Powerpoint (see figure below of an empty Share Pod ready to be loaded). It is not advised to use media files greater than 10 megabytes. The Share Pod can also be used to share the desktop, or to create a Whiteboard where multiple collaborators can draw or take notes.
- Share Document: It is possible for both the instructor (Host) or students and guest speakers (Presenters) to upload a document into the share pod. Click on “Share Document” (see figure above) to upload a document from the desktop. Click on “Browse my Computer” (see figure below) in order to store files in Adobe Connect for easy and quick access. This can be done prior to class or even during a session.
- Student Work: Students will use often the Share Pod to show images from their own work. In the figure below there is a screenshot in the standard .png format, which is also fine, though .jpg is preferable because of its size. Note the fullscreen button in the upper right hand corner if it is preferable to size the pod up to fill the whole screen.
- Chat Pod: This is a forum for real-time chat, generally a spontaneous layer of conversation that takes place simultaneously with lecture, presentation, and audio dialogue (see figure below). It is interesting how in the virtual classroom the chat is not disruptive, rather, it provides a medium for ongoing commentary, placement of live links, and other references that support the primary conversation. Adobe Connect chat is often a highly playful supplement to the class experience.
- Attendees Pod: This pod includes the list of all attendees when they enter the room, including the atendees status, such as Host or Presenter (see figure below). The names of each Presenter will be labeled according to the name they entered when logging in. Usually this is the first and last name, but students will sometimes approach their identity playfully, as in the example below. Note the icon to the right of the name, which indicates whether or not the microphone is turned on or off. At this moment, the student Chinfang is speaking. Her name also appears at the top as a live speaker.
- Links Pod: This is a window where you can store Web links, which can then be shared with all the attendees (see figure below). You simply select a link, click on the “Browse To” button, and the Web page will launch simultaneously in the browsers of all the attendees.
Not all browsers respond properly to the launch of a Web link. It is advisable to use Firefox for the best performance. If for some reason the links are not launching for one or more students, you can also enter links into the Chat Pod, where they will become active hyperlinks.
- Add Link: In order to add a link, select from the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner of the Chat Pod (see figure below).
- Naming the Link: After selecting “Add Link,” you can then fill out the name of the link in the upper field and the link address in the lower one (see figure below).