ATM Replacement

If you hadn’t heard, the ATM system is not going be around after June 30th, 2009. This really wasn’t a surprise as the contracts to support the system were up. We have a bunch of people at the college using ATM to deliver courses, so we need to have another way to deliver content.

I think most people have accepted online asynchronous courses as a valid way to teach, however, they still want face to face instruction. ATM, even with it’s technical problems, provided somewhat of a face to face environment.

I am looking at a few options to “replace” ATM. One I think has potential is Dimdim. I really don’t want to use the words web conference to refer to it because that usually brings up negative connotations. Lots of people have sat in a WebEx session while bored to tears. My initial reaction to Dimdim is very positive and it could very well be the direction I decide to go for providing faculty with a partial replacement for ATM.

Some of the features I like:

  • Great Moodle integration. The module doesn’t just link to their service. Anyone could do that. Their module can control of the the settings to set up a meeting. That makes things way easier to get technophobes on board.
  • No installs required. If they have flash install they are good to go. In the YouTube era, everyone has flash installed.
  • Built on Open Source. They even have an Open Source version you can use. If you know me, that is pretty rad.
  • You can share your Desktop with the group. Great for times when you need to show something specific to your class.
  • Can share presentations and whiteboard with the attendees.
  • Easily broadcast video to the group. Can change the camera to any of the attendees.

I don’t see this being the sole way to deliver content though. Only because it doesn’t completely replace the wealth of learning activities available through online learning environments like Moodle. However, it does give a face to the teacher and allows some kind of meeting area for real-time discussion. I will keep you updated on what I decide to do.