Thanks to Dan for trying out this software with me! : )

What is it? Yugma is a synchronous screen-sharing tool for the Internet. All the participants can dial in to a long distance phone number and look at the same computer screen. The presenter computer screen can be passed from presenter to presenter. As a second option, you can use Skype for the audio, but then you are limited to two participants.

What is the cost? Free for a basic account.

What are the technical requirements? I don’t see how you could possibly stand this without high-speed internet. I had to disable my 2nd monitor to get the software to run properly if I was the projecting computer. A user would also have to be able to call the long-distance phone number for the audio portion of the call.

How could we use this technology in the traditional or online classroom? I could see this used for both traditional or online classes. In a traditional classroom, it might be a way to bring a knowledgable speaker to your classroom if they need to have live access to a computer as part of their talk. For an online classroom, you could use it to walk a student through orientation or help them with something they are having trouble with in the technical requirements of the course. Because you could see their screen, you’d be able to talk them through what they are doing wrong.

How could we use this technology in our professional lives? Likewise, it might be a good option for graduate seminars to bring in a guest speaker (of course, if you want to be able to use a whiteboard and you don’t want the computer screen option, you’d want to try something like WizIQ instead – which does include audio).

Where do I hope the technology will go from here? (a wish list)

  • Yugma ran a bit slow – but not any worse than any of the other “webinar” software I’ve seen in action.
  • Obviously, integrating audio with the program would be a plus.
  • Sharing only part of the screen would make Yugma run faster I think. I don’t really need to share my entire screen – could we maybe click and drag to create a viewing rectangle? This might also solve the 2nd monitor problem.
  • To start broadcasting a screen took a few minutes – it wasn’t clear that we should wait and that the program was really doing something – we went back and forth trying to share our screens several times before we realized that we needed some more patience.
  • The software for this platform is less intuitive than the software that runs WizIQ – a well-run usability study could do wonders…

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