The internet has made sharing data really easy, and service providers such as Go To Meeting and Webex have made it easy for you to share information, images and audio in real time, with one or many people. The difficulty is that the communication is one-sided: it’s all about sharing rather than collaborating. When you join a webinar you tend to sit and watch the presentation and though you might be able to use the “raise hand” icon and text input box to ask questions, you can’t really get involved. Webinars can share information but can’t be truly collaborative because audience participation is always going to be limited by the hardware and software.
The difference between sharing data and collaborating is that when you have the right hardware and software combination to launch a collaborative session, everyone can get involved. Rather than there being one presenter that everyone else listens to passively, collaboration involves everyone being able to participate in the discussion. An even better solution would allow all participants to be able to share information and manipulate the data that other people share.
If you would like to be able to collaborate remotely rather than just share, the answer could be to use a SMART board and Bridgit software. The software is designed specifically with collaboration in mind so it has lots of benefits over other solutions. You can invite people to join your conference via the Bridgit software and participants will receive a link to download the software, which runs on PCs and Macs. There’s even a free iOS app so you can use Bridgit on your iPad. Using Bridgit, participants can see one desktop and therefore any program open on the computer, participants can also share their own desktops. Information can be highlighted or written over, and handwritten notes will appear instantly in real time so everyone is involved. If users do not have a device that easily enables hand written notes to be added such as a PC with a standard mouse and keyboard, notes can still be typed back in real time. No one relinquishes control of their desktop either – there’s no “one presenter” here because everyone is able to communicate and share their data at any time. And because the Bridgit software works on so many devices, you’re not limited to being in the office for your meetings – so long as you have a 3G or Wi-Fi signal you can join the meeting from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are, and collaborate as much as everyone else.
By using a SMART device and Meeting Pro Software the experience is further enhanced as all notes can be captured, moved, resized, erased and eben converted into text. Most importantly, at the end of the collaborative meeting the notes can be saved into one file and distributed as a PDF or PowerPoint file to ensure all notes can be viewed by anyone.
This instant, two way handwritten notes or typed text ensures the experience is not a passive, “one-way” viewing experience but instead is a collaborative meeting allowing all remote participants to be involved in sharing their ideas. This solution is ideal for remote collaborative workers or teams.
If your company would benefit from collaborating rather than just sharing, give us a call today to find out more about using SMART Boards and Bridgit. You can also find out more and watch a demonstration on our website.