Live, video-centric learning is a key ingredient for ensuring quality and impact of distance learning programs
Watchitoo today unveiled a new product aimed squarely at distance learning’s Achilles’ heel: the lack of a traditional face-to-face experience. Able to bring 25 students into a face-to-face video chat and involve thousands more as viewing participants, Watchitoo ClassInteract (www.wclassinteract.com) enables institutions to preserve the integrity of the live classroom experience as they move their offerings online.
The company is demonstrating Watchitoo ClassInteract at Pearson’s CITE 2013 annual users’ conference today through Thursday in Chicago. Watchitoo is a sponsor of the event and will co-host a session called “Yale Closes the Distance Learning Gap with Face-to-Face Interactive Courses” on Thursday, 4/4. [http://pearsonevents.com/cite2013/program/]
Watchitoo ClassInteract powers key activities in the entire learning lifecycle, including course management, synchronous classroom learning, discussion, polling, white-boarding and advanced analytics. Students log into classes, participate in class via webcam, chat with classmates, query professors, view multimedia materials together, and break out into subgroups for smaller video chats whenever they like.
Professors can store class materials in Watchitoo ClassInteract, create polls, aggregate results, record/archive sessions and view in-depth data on student engagement. Classes can be presented online to a small group of students and/or thousands of viewers, with guests being activated and deactivated by professors as full on-screen participants.
Watchitoo ClassInteract is a complete, cost-effective solution for virtual classroom learning and easily integrates into any learning management system for a seamless single-sign-on experience. Watchitoo has partnered with Pearson eCollege to provide an integrated solution directly accessible from the Pearson LearningStudio platform. Customers using this integration include Yale University, Palo Alto University and University of Fairfax.
Watchitoo ClassInteract has some distinct competitive advantages beyond its 25-person videoconferencing capability. It’s delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which minimizes the institution’s IT burden and automatically upgrades capabilities as they are developed. Watchitoo ClassInteract is easily embeddable into any university Web page and offers simple, intuitive tools for customizing its look and feel. It’s also ideal for faculty meetings, parent-teacher conferences, andcorporate training and recruiting.
“Distance Learning is a fast-growing field, and to make it truly viable, institutions need the ability to bring students together in an authentic face-to-face experience,” said Watchitoo CEO Rony Zarom. “For many institutions and students, this is the very element that makes distance learning powerful. Watchitoo can provide face-to-face synchronous experiences that can scale from a small class to massive synchronous online courses. The MOOC [massive open online course] movement does not need to be limited to recorded materials and threaded discussions. An injection of real-time interactivity stimulates learning, and establishes a better base for monetizing the experience.”
Watchitoo ClassInteract is available now in English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew, with flexible pricing options based on course count or usage hours.