GROUPBOARD/GROUPWORLD NEWSLETTER - June 2006
This is an occasional newsletter which is sent out to all registered Groupboard and GroupWorld.net customers a few times a year.
CONTENTSNew version of GroupWorld.net released with improved performance.
GroupWorld.net hosting now available.
New math tutoring Groupboard demo.
Recommended headset for voice conferencing.
Present powerpoint slideshows using Groupboard or GroupWorld.net.
Coming soon: Mac OSX version of GroupWorld.net, and new features.
New version of GroupWorld.net released with improved performance
We have recently released a new version of GroupWorld.net which has a number of significant improvements. The main change is the addition of a "high priority data channel" for voice and other time-critical data. This means that the quality of voice will now not deteriorate when using the desktop sharing at the same time. Previously there would have been delays or break-ups in the voice, but now there is no loss of quality when using desktop sharing or downloading large background images at the same time. We have also improved the performance of the desktop sharing itself, so it is now more responsive with faster updates.
GroupWorld.net hosting now available
We are now able to offer GroupWorld.net hosting through one of our partners. Pricing for up to 25 simultaneous users is US$300/month, for up to two hours usage per day. Included in the price is hosting (with up to 10Mbps of bandwidth on an internet backbone for fast response times), technical support, limited customisation, and up to 5 GroupWorld.net rooms. You can use all of the GroupWorld.net features (whiteboard, chat, voice/video conferencing and desktop sharing). You can also directly upload word, powerpoint, excel, pdf, gif & tiff files to the whiteboard for presentation. Please contact us for further details.
New math tutoring Groupboard demo
We have updated our math tutoring Groupboard example, which you can see here:http://www.groupboard.com/math.html
This example demonstrates how you can use Groupboard Designer with customised icons. In order to add custom icons to your own Groupboard Designer web page, you simply need to upload the icons as background images (using the "upload background" button in your admin page). You can upload multiple images at once by simply putting them into a zip file and uploading the zip file. Providing the filenames begin with "icon_", they will automatically appear in your web page if you using the designer_3dlook.cgi script to access your board. You can then save the html code onto your own website and customise it if you wish. You are free to use these example math tools in your own boards - just email us and we will copy the icons over to your board.
We recently integrated a customised version of this math tutoring board into the website of an online tutoring company www.gethomeworkhelp.com, and they are using it to provide online tutoring to students.
Recommended headset for voice conferencing
A number of customers have asked us to recommend a good headset for voice conferencing. We recently had to purchase new headsets for our office, so we have been testing a number of products. We have found that the "Logitech Premium Stereo Noise Cancelling Headset" is very good quality, as well as being very reasonably priced. It can be bought from Staples and other stores, or you can click on this link to purchase from Amazon.com for $15.76 (21% off the normal retail price):http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007N33IQ/groupboardcom
Present powerpoint slideshows using Groupboard or GroupWorld.net
We have recently created new examples of both Groupboard and GroupWorld.net which allow you to present slideshows over the web. Click on the following links to see the online demos:http://www.groupboard.com/presenter/
The first example is based on Groupboard, which is java-based and can use firewall tunnelling. The second example uses GroupWorld.net and has more features such as desktop sharing and video conferencing. Both have "Prev" and "Next" buttons allowing you to cycle through a set of pre-prepared jpeg/powerpoint slides. The next slide is cached, so it will appear immediately on everyone's screen immediately when the Next button is pressed. NTCA has been using Groupboard Presenter to deliver slideshows to their members (up to 100 at one time) since 2002.
Coming soon: Mac OSX version of GroupWorld.net, and new features
We will soon be releasing a Mac OSX version of GroupWorld.net, allowing you to both host and run GroupWorld.net on a Mac. We are also planning on adding a "record session" feature, allowing you to record the entire GroupWorld.net session and play it back later. More details will be in the next newsletter.