WhatHave you heard the University of Minnesota now has access to WebEx, a new web conferencing tool that will replace Adobe Connect? A new tool is so super exciting! I have had so much fun learning WebEx, and am still learning something new every day. I can't wait to hear what creative things our Extension personnel do with it.
WhyBecause. Web Conferencing is where it's at! Yeah!
And also because the University's self-hosted instance of Adobe Connect ("UMConnect") was not meeting the U's basic web conferencing needs anymore. Did you know Extension was the leading user of UMConnect?
How toWebEx is one of those tools that is VERY EASY to learn, but probably takes a lifetime to master! I have been WebExing almost every day since last October and I am still learning many things!!
First of all, there are actually THREE tools in our WebEx package.
WebEx Meeting Center: Use for collaborative meetings (internal & external), presentations, demonstrations with up to 500 people (or 1000 with no video). Anyone can share in these. This has some overlap with Google Hangouts use, but is awesome-r because, hello!, 500 people instead of 15, and also your participants don't need a Google account.
WebEx Event Center: Use for large-scale online events up to 1000 people. This tool is sort of equivalent to Livestream. I've only ever been a participant (not a host) in Event Center so I look forward to learning more.
WebEx Training Center: Use for training, workshops, cohort groups (includes breakout rooms) up to 1000 people. There are distinct presenters and not everyone can share content (like in Meeting Center). Because of the breakout rooms, I suspect this will be a popular tool in Extension.
View a comparison of supported web conferencing tools by function and features.
So are you excited yet?? Let's get learning WebEx!
Here is our suggested path for learning WebEx:
- Continue using Adobe Connect while you are learning WebEx. UMConnect is not going away until August 31, 2015, so you have 8 whole months to ease into WebEx! Nobody panic.
- Attend a one-hour WebEx preview, held online (over WebEx of course!) and led by Extension Technology trainer, Karen Matthes. These are fun, informal introductions to WebEx. Come see what WebEx looks like and bring your questions--you can play 'Stump the Trainer,' always a fun game.
- Look over the basic WebEx Meeting Center "Learning Map" (it's like a choose your own adventure in training!)
- Begin exploring and using WebEx with coworkers or friends. This means, first use it with people who love you and won't think less of you if you can't get your mic to work. Can you hear me now?
- Attend a more detailed WebEx training hands-on (TC campus) or InterCall Live Online and Self-Paced Training. I have not taken on-campus hands-on training yet (it hasn't been offered yet!) but I have taken the Intercall online trainings and they are great!
- Begin using WebEx for some low-risk meetings--internal committees, teamwork--then move on to using it as your standard tool for webinars!