Free Classroom Capture Platform Adds Blackboard integration, Podcasting Features


Ed tech developer Panopto told us this week that it's releasing CourseCast v2, an update to the company's classroom capture system, and making it available to educators free through its Socrates Project beta program.

Panopto's CourseCast is designed for capturing, editing, and streaming audio and video from lectures and other presentations over the Web. Captured materials can be searched, linked, and annotated through the software, and recorded materials can be embedded in popular course management systems. The software is a spinoff from a project at Carnegie Mellon University, where it was initially developed and first deployed.

CourseCast is available at no charge to educators in K-12 and post-secondary institutions through Panopto's Socrates Project, which asks that users participate in beta programs aimed at further enhancing the software. Participants in the Socrates Project, starting this week, will have access to CourseCast v2 ahead of the full, commercial-grade release, which is slated for early July.

The new v2 release includes a number of new features derived from input from participants in the Socrates Project. These include:

  • Full integration with Blackboard systems, allowing content to be fed into Blackboard automatically (via a Blackboard Building Block);
  • Enhanced security using LDAP to control access to content;
  • Podcasting, with support for audio and still images;
  • Remote recording capabilities;
  • New "multi-modal capture" that allows for multiple mixed cameras (including HD) or recording audio without video; and
  • Course-wide search of content (including the content of notes and PowerPoint files) in addition to previous support for tagging.

Panopto President and CEO Brad Winney also told us that the number of educational institutions adopting or in some stage of adopting CourseCast has increased to about 400 and that the company has also launched professional service options for those participating in the Socrates Project. The company has also created a hosted option for CourseCast, which is aimed at smaller schools. (The hosted option is not free.)

Information on CourseCast and the Socrates Project can be accessed via Panopto's home page here.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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