Just a heads up, this post may be a little “rant-ish”.
During Thursday’s class of ECMP, we had a guest speaker, but watched his lecture on my computer using Elluminate. My first impression of the program was really great! And he did a really good job of introducing it to us as well. He let us play around with the whiteboard and the chat room. He also asked those of us with microphones to address the class briefly, providing a short introduction of ourselves. His slides were visible on the whiteboard portion of the screen, which added a neat element to the presentation.
About half way through, the internet started to “disagree” with my computer. There seemed to be some sort of lag, and for long stretches (30 seconds to 2 minutes) I could not hear the speaker at all. Then I glanced to the chat portion of the screen and noticed that people were adding responses to something the speaker had asked them and I hadn’t heard the question yet because my computer was so far behind. This is when it got extremely frustrating! I felt like I was falling behind in the class; it occurred to me that this is how students with Learning Disabilities, or hearing impairment, or visual impairment might feel. In that aspect, it was a really good experience. However, I do not have Learning disability or impairment, my computer just had a poor internet connection.
This experience completely turned me off of using tools like Elluminate. It’s one of those things that are incredible when they work, BUT, they do not always work. It was great to be exposed to the program, and to see the possibilities that are out there for educators, however, until they fix these issues, I don’t think I could use it!