A good Flashead could use Macromedia's
and FlashPaper to rig a up a pretty good
approximation of basic Breeze; but it can be done faster and with much greater ease
in Breeze. Specifically, Breeze adds a plugin into Microsoft PowerPoint (97, 2000
XP) running in Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000 or XP. This plugin adds about a dozen
extra menu options to PowerPoint that makes it simple to add narration to a PowerPoint
Presentation including using templates and pre-scripted subsections of a presentation.
Thus pulling together a collaborative presentation is a ... uhh Breeze.
The Training module of Breeze offers automated course administration functions
for enrollment/self-registration, alerts/notification, testing/measurement
and final testing certification. Breeze Training allows an complete management
of Breeze Presentation and Breeze Live courses and assets. Unfortunately,
it currently does not extend to other eLearning assets and deliverables
except in a limited file handling way. But given Macromedia's Authorware
and Director tools one should expect at least these assets to be incorporated
into a broader eLearning working set.
Breeze Live allows initiation and control of live conferencing and meetings
over an intranet and/or the Web. Breeze Live creates virtual
meeting rooms to which attendees are invited. When a participant joins
the meeting (usually through a simple email delivered URL address), they
see a multi-pane window (high user customizable). There may be a presenter
pane if a video webcam option is used. There will be attendees present
pane and a instant chat pane. The presenter(s) will have some special
panes including a notice board that only they have access to as well as
the main presentation pane which can accomodate Breeze, PowerPoint and
other desktop software presentations. Within the presentation pane, the
presenter can use pointer tools to add emphasis - but whiteboarding and
direct interaction beteween attendees is limited. As we shall see in an
upcoming collaboration/conferencing review Breeze Live offers some real
functional advantages but is behind in other areas. Breeze Live's key
strength is the total package - including the Training module and course
administration features including the ability to easily record a Breeze
Live session for later re-presentation. But now that Microsoft has bought Placeware
which becomes Microsoft Live meeting and IBM/Lotus have reworked SameTime
and their eLearning package - this space has become highly competitive.
But so also has the demo software arena as evidenced by Camtasia
Studio, our next product.