SMART Board users now have the opportunity to collaborate remotely via WebEx, the suite of online collaboration tools from Cisco. SMART Boards running driver version 10.8 are already compatible and a plugin is available to download from the WebEx website to enable many of the digital ink features that SMART Board users enjoy.
WebEx is a low cost range of online applications that allow on-demand video conferencing, data sharing and web collaboration. When you use WebEx with a SMART Board the board will automatically detect the WebEx meeting and give all users, wherever they are located, access to digital ink tools so that documents, data and apps can be annotated.
WebEx and SMART Boards work seamlessly together and the combination is easy to use. When you pick up the pen or choose the pen tool the software will know and sync automatically, and open up the pen toolbar. Being able to use a pen or fingertip to highlight text and write on documents is much more intuitive than having to use a mouse and keyboard, meaning web conferences can run more smoothly and productively. Everyone involved in the WebEx meeting can collaborate and take part, not just the presenters, and everyone can also share screens, data and applications quickly and simply.
There are some limitations however. Using SMART Boards over WebEx is not as flexible as using, for example, the SMART Meeting Pro software, which gives access to all the SMART Ink features. WebEx users can’t use object manipulation, gestures or the zoom function; you are limited to simply writing, erasing and inserting text. The digital ink is generally of a lower quality than SMART Ink and the “session” can’t be saved in a functional way either – and rather than documents being saved in their original format with the annotations, you can only save the screen as a JPG. However, if you need to collaborate with someone who doesn’t have any other way of accessing your SMART Board, integrating WebEx is an effective and straightforward method of remote communication.
To find out more about using SMART Boards with WebEx give us a call on 0118 336 0010 and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.