The times when the blackboard and chalk were enough to conduct a lecture are long gone. The next step was the use of projectors with slides which evolved to multimedia presentations. But this way is not efficient when the lecturer is dealing with informational technologies and work with different computer applications, where the students need to see the presenter’s desktop live.
This again can be handled with simple projections tool, but when it comes to the distant learning students, this solution becomes useless. An ideal way to communicate and improve workflow in such cases is the use of special software, which facilitates the meetings, conferences and training organizations by allowing to share the presenters’ PC desktop between all users.
Softarex Technologies developed a tool convenient for both distance and internal learning that allows a presenter to share the content of his desktop to a wide auditorium. The system includes the following user interfaces:
- Client desktop application for screen sharing;
- Server desktop application for sharing management;
- Web application for user and sharing management;
- Client application that allows to view shared screen by simply opening the link in any browser;
- The tool was supposed to allow a lecturer to display the content and all manipulations made on his desktop to their students;
- The solution had to cover both in-class and distant learning students, therefore it excluded all the options that considered the use of projections;
- The solution had to withstand the big number of simultaneous users — up to 1000 viewers at a time.
- The system implements data transfer through several sockets simultaneously, which significantly increases the speed of the system. In terms of performance, this system is the best in its class and is ahead of such data rates as WebEx, GoToMeeting, and so on.
- With the system that Softarex Technologies has developed the education process became much easier and more user-friendly;
- The solution empowered lecturers to present their skills and knowledge to a much wider auditorium and allowed distant learning students to be part of the general education process.
- HTML 5
Thanks to the platform developed by our company, training has become even more accessible, comfortable, and practical. Now any student can see the manipulations done by the lecturer on the desktop disregarding their location: whether that would be classroom or any other place. Since the project has a long history, it has been evolving along with changing technologies and demands. Therefore users can access its functionality in two ways: by using the desktop or web application.
The client desktop application provides the following features:
- View presenter’s desktop — once a user gets the sharing link, they can insert it in the app and view the contents of the shared screen.
- Remote control — depending on the sharing type, a user can not just share the content, but also provide remote control access to their desktop, which dramatically widens a presenter’s abilities.
The server desktop application is intended for the lecturer and furnished with management functionality such as:
- Desktop sharing — a user can share their desktop by simply generating the link and providing it to the viewers. Viewers in their turn just need to open the link in the client application or any browser to view the content by means of HTML 5 client.
- Select sharing mode — when sharing the desktop content, a user can select the preferred mode:
- Desktop — the whole desktop would be shared to the students;
- Application — only the area of application would become accessible;
- Region — a user can select any region on the desktop he wants to share.
- Pause sharing — a user can simply put a presentation on hold and when using the Application mode, the sharing would stop automatically when a user minimizes or overlaps application. In this case, the user would be alerted to make sure they is aware that the presentation paused.
- Schedule sharing — a user can set the time frame for their presentation when generating the link, therefore even if the students will have the link, the presentation would become available for them only at a specified time.
- Sharing management — a desktop application allows to manage the existing sharings, yet with a bit shortened list of available options compared to web application.
- User management — a lecturer is enabled to view the list of connected viewers and disconnect selected users from the sharing;
The web application provides a user with the admin functionality:
- Sharing management — same as in the desktop, a user can create the new sharing, but also they is enabled to manage the existing ones: pause, delete, edit, stop, etc.
- User management — the application includes basic user and password management functionality.