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How to do real time web classroom presentation in Java?

 
 
Yiyu
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      04-07-2007
Hi, I have never programmed in Java before. Mostly I do numerical and
statistics programming and my main tools are C++ and Matlab. So please
tolerate me if my questions look a bit dumb.

I am going to teach a college course and I want to do real time
presentation on website, so if one of my students can't come to campus
during class hours she can just log onto the course webpage and see /
hear exactly what I am talking about.

I want my course page to have following functions:

1) There is an area(window) on the website showing the powerpoint
slides I am showing in classroom.
2) I will have a microphone with me and the remote student can also
hear me real time.
3) When I click on an embeded item on powerpoint pages, for example,
an Excel sheet, the Excel sheet shows in the window.
4)There is also an instant messenger window on the webpage, so student
can type in her questions and I will see it instantly.
5) If I need to demonstrate the computation steps I will write on a
writing pad and the student can see what I am writing, which is like
writing on a blackboard.
6) All these can be recorded and be replayed later.

this looks like a web conferencing tool but I haven't find one which
is both free and having all the functions I need. Also I want all
these thing be embeded on a webpage and the students don't have to
install any additional program on their comptuers. They can simply use
any computer in the lab, go to my website and instantly begin the
class.

So my questions:
1) Can all these things be done in Java? If yes, what kind of library/
technology I should use?
2) Is there any other language / toolbox /system doing this kind of
thing better?
3) Any related book / online tutorials ?
4) Are there already some free program \ toolbox providing all the
functions I need?

Thank you very much.

Yiyu

 
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Yiyu
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      04-07-2007
By the way, simply using a webcam is not the solution I want.

 
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Christian
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      04-07-2007
Yiyu schrieb:
> Hi, I have never programmed in Java before. Mostly I do numerical and
> statistics programming and my main tools are C++ and Matlab. So please
> tolerate me if my questions look a bit dumb.
>

I think what you want to do is rather advanced... so the question should
rather be. Do you have time to program something that advanced before
your couse starts..
this seems to be a project that could take several months if you can't
work 40 hours a week or more on it.
So I would recommend you to have a look at "Lecturnity".
(http://www.lecturnity.de/)

It can at least do some of the things you want, though it is not for
realtime interaction. Your Students could then just download your course
when the recording is finished and skim through what they want to see.



Christian


 
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Yiyu
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      04-08-2007
On Apr 7, 3:57 am, Christian <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Yiyuschrieb:> Hi, I have never programmed in Java before. Mostly I do numerical and
> > statistics programming and my main tools are C++ and Matlab. So please
> > tolerate me if my questions look a bit dumb.

>
> I think what you want to do is rather advanced... so the question should
> rather be. Do you have time to program something that advanced before
> your couse starts..
> this seems to be a project that could take several months if you can't
> work 40 hours a week or more on it.
> So I would recommend you to have a look at "Lecturnity".
> (http://www.lecturnity.de/)
>
> It can at least do some of the things you want, though it is not for
> realtime interaction. Your Students could then just download your course
> when the recording is finished and skim through what they want to see.
>
> Christian



Absolutely I am willing to spend hundreds of hours to do it. The more
I think about this idea, the more I find it interesting. And since it
seems no one has done it well yet, it's worth trying. The only thing I
want to make sure before I start is whether it's technically feasible
to do everything in Java? Or does C# combined with Windows
Presentation Foundation have a better chance? I searched the web and
find most existing web conferencing softwares are using Flash Media
Server, which I never used before and way too expensive to me.

Thanks

Yiyu

 
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Patricia Shanahan
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      04-08-2007
Yiyu wrote:
> On Apr 7, 3:57 am, Christian <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Yiyuschrieb:> Hi, I have never programmed in Java before. Mostly I do numerical and
>>> statistics programming and my main tools are C++ and Matlab. So please
>>> tolerate me if my questions look a bit dumb.

>> I think what you want to do is rather advanced... so the question should
>> rather be. Do you have time to program something that advanced before
>> your couse starts..
>> this seems to be a project that could take several months if you can't
>> work 40 hours a week or more on it.
>> So I would recommend you to have a look at "Lecturnity".
>> (http://www.lecturnity.de/)
>>
>> It can at least do some of the things you want, though it is not for
>> realtime interaction. Your Students could then just download your course
>> when the recording is finished and skim through what they want to see.
>>
>> Christian

>
>
> Absolutely I am willing to spend hundreds of hours to do it. The more
> I think about this idea, the more I find it interesting. And since it
> seems no one has done it well yet, it's worth trying. The only thing I
> want to make sure before I start is whether it's technically feasible
> to do everything in Java? Or does C# combined with Windows
> Presentation Foundation have a better chance? I searched the web and
> find most existing web conferencing softwares are using Flash Media
> Server, which I never used before and way too expensive to me.


I don't have the necessary knowledge to estimate whether it is feasible,
and if so whether it is doable in a few person-months or not, but I do
know how I would find out.

Take a look at one or more of the non-commercial implementations, such
as Classroom Presenter, http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/dl/presenter/

It does not meet all your stated requirements, but it is similar enough
that reading their papers may tell you something about why the
developers made the choices they made.

Given their academic background, it is quite likely that they would
respond to e-mail from you asking about their experiences. How much work
have they put into it so far?

Patricia
 
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Christian
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      04-08-2007
Patricia Shanahan schrieb:
> Yiyu wrote:
>> On Apr 7, 3:57 am, Christian <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> Yiyuschrieb:> Hi, I have never programmed in Java before. Mostly I do


>>
>> Absolutely I am willing to spend hundreds of hours to do it. The more
>> I think about this idea, the more I find it interesting. And since it
>> seems no one has done it well yet, it's worth trying. The only thing I


Don't underestimate these projects. I know that Lecturnity has also an
academic background.. It is based on at several PHD-Thesis and a lot of
manpower and several years of experience is in this.

Though it may be a different background. Students that can't come to
university just watch it some time later.. shure they can't do any live
questions... but usually you can just rewind the recording, that should
answer half of any students question .. nearly all other questions can
be answered with google when you are at home and just can press the
pause button for a recording. On the other side do you really want to
have an eye on some chatroom during your lecture and answer the
questions as well as pay attention to the feedback the people in the
classrom give you with gestures?

Doing a good presentation is hard, having one additional source of
distraction may be to much for someone who is not a genious with this...
and a lot of professors in computer science should rather invest some
time in attending a seminar on presentation skills then just entrust
everything on the tech he or she uses.



>> want to make sure before I start is whether it's technically feasible
>> to do everything in Java? Or does C# combined with Windows
>> Presentation Foundation have a better chance? I searched the web and


I think some of the hardest things are rather independant form the
choice of your programming language..

Like painting on the screen, and undo functions for your drawing ..
such stuff there is a lot of detail work that needs to be done..

Just presenting some slides, recoding and a chatsystem may be the least
work in your project.

>
> Take a look at one or more of the non-commercial implementations, such
> as Classroom Presenter,
> http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/dl/presenter/
>

thx for this link that looks interesting ... Lecturnity is just a bit
expensive just for doing a tutorial for some free software.


>
> Patricia

 
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