CourseCast 2.0 Adds Podcasting, Streaming Media Features to Free Lecture Capture System
Panopto has released CourseCast 2.0, an update to the company's classroom capture system that's available free to academic users. CourseCast 2.0 had previously been available as part of Panopto's beta program for educators since June.
Panopto's CourseCast is designed for capturing, editing, and streaming audio and video from lectures and other presentations over the Web. Captured materials can be searched, linked, and annotated through the software, and recorded materials can be embedded in popular course management systems. The software is a spinoff from a project at Carnegie Mellon University, where it was initially developed and first deployed.
CourseCast is available at no charge to educators in K-12 and post-secondary institutions through Panopto's Socrates Project, which asks that users participate in testing programs aimed at further enhancing the software.
The new 2.0 release includes a number of new features derived from input from participants in the Socrates Project.
Jeff Muday, director of instructional technology at Wake Forest University, has been participating in the beta program. In a statement released Wednesday, he said, "We began testing CourseCast 2.0 in a fairly limited scope and within weeks expanded the use of the product among faculty and staff. Key to this was the product's extraordinarily simple set-up and intuitive user interface. Instructors were recording sessions on their own with only a brief amount of training."
New features in the 2.0 release include:
- Automatic detection of devices for recording;
- Automatic output in multiple formats, including formats suitable for podcasting, as well as Windows Media and Silverlight;
- Full integration with Blackboard systems, allowing content to be fed into Blackboard automatically (via a Blackboard Building Block);
- Enhanced security using LDAP to control access to content;
- Podcasting, with support for audio and still images;
- Remote recording capabilities;
- New "multi-modal capture" that allows for multiple mixed cameras (including HD) or recording audio without video; and
- Course-wide search of content (including the content of notes and PowerPoint files) in addition to previous support for tagging.
Panopto President and CEO Brad Winney also told us earlier this year that the number of educational institutions adopting or in some stage of adopting CourseCast has increased to about 400 and that the company has also launched professional service options for those participating in the Socrates Project. The company has also created a hosted option for CourseCast, which is aimed at smaller schools. (The hosted option is not free.)
Information on CourseCast and the Socrates Project can be accessed via Panopto's home page here.