Live hand drawn content – Collaborate

Having demonstrated using a 2nd login with teams to share hand drawn content, I started to investigate how to do it in Collaborate.
From a teaching point of view, Collaborate has a lot of useful classroom type features (it was, after all, designed for them!) You’ve got a whiteboard, breakout rooms, hands up, students can set a status, and others.

While you can’t share an application from a mobile device, you can use the whiteboard or the video camera.

Getting ready

To use a 2nd device with Collaborate, there’s a bit of preparation you’ll need to do, as you can’t simply login into Collaborate twice – it will tell you you’re already logged in.

  1. Find the guest link for your session
  2. Start the session on the main computer – I’d do it a few minutes before you expect the students.
  3. Enter the guest link in a browser on the 2nd device – making sure that you mute the audio and microphone on the 2nd device.
  4. From your main computer, promote your 2nd user to moderator.

Using the Whiteboard

If you intend to use the Whiteboard, you will probably want to disable participants usage of the whiteboard. This can be done either when you create the session, or just when you want to use the whiteboard. (It will stop students accidentally deleting what you’re doing!)

Start the whiteboard, on either device. You’ll be drawing on the tablet, so it’s easiest to have the right panel closed, to give you as much space as possible.

You can now draw on the tablet, and use the main computer for audio, to follow chat etc.

Using a camera

If you are using your phone, you may find it’s easier to use it for video than the whiteboard. Though my phone offered me the opportunity to use both forward and rear facing camera, it wasn’t able to mirror the rear facing camera, so text was reversed. I therefore had to use the forward facing camera, which is a bit more fiddly.

I wasn’t able to mute my phone totally, so I just put a pair of headphones in it, to minimise the audio feedback between the two machines.

You’ll need to think about how you’ll support your phone, and be able to write at the same time. After trying a couple of different set ups using a tripod, I found that a mini lightbox with a hole in the top worked best.

Looking forward to seeing your solutions!

Remember, you can use Collaborate on your own if you’d like to prepare content in advance of a session – just remember to click record when you start!

Sharing a hand drawn image – using Collaborate and an iPod.