CourseCast 2.0 Adds Podcasting, Streaming Media Features to Free Lecture Capture System


Panopto has released CourseCast 2.0, an update to the company's classroom capture system that's available free to academic users. CourseCast 2.0 had previously been available as part of Panopto's beta program for educators since June.

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 testing programs aimed at further enhancing the software.

The new 2.0 release includes a number of new features derived from input from participants in the Socrates Project.

One K-12 CourseCast user, Bill Connaghan, technology services coordinator at Cornwall-Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania, said, "CourseCast is proving to be a very useful platform for us to quickly and reliably capture course content for students and staff throughout our school district. We are in the beginning stages of using the system, but its ease of use and flexibility make it a natural solution for us."

New features in the 2.0 release include:

  • Automatic detection of devices for recording;
  • Automatic output in multiple formats, including formats suitable for podcasting, as well as Windows Media and Silverlight;
  • 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 earlier this year 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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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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