I am a high school student and my school switched from Blackboard Collaborate Original to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra this year. And boy am I glad we did. Ultra is just so much better than the Original. You do not need to download any software, everything is in your browser, its if faster at joining classes, ect. But with any software that you spend hours a day on you start to notice a few problems. So here is a pro/con list.
- Works on most browsers.
No need to download anything, just click the link and join.
- Profile Pictures!
Sure, the original had profile pictures, but they were tiny, and only appeared by your name in the attendees panel. With Ultra you see the photo next to chat messages. when you have 10 different students chatting is hard too read names and remember who's who. With Profile pictures you can easily keep track of the conversation. I don't know why it makes such a big difference but it dose to me.
- Video and audio quality is much better.
I don't know if it was just my computer but the audio in the original would always cut in and out. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it. But the new one seems to work way better! Its not perfect, but a huge improvement.
- It looks and Feels nicer.
The original was just a bit clunky looking, some of the icons looked like they could have been from 2007. Come too think of it they probably were from 2007. Ultra is just a bit smoother and nicer all around.
Every software has its cons. Here are a few ways it can improve.
Chat can sometimes go bye very fast. It would be nice to be able to use @mentions and get that chat message highlighted.
- The infinity tunnel of death.
Whenever a teacher shares the entire screen, a strange looking tunnel will appear for a moment. It like what happens when you hold two mirrors across from each other. It seems like this could be fixed.
- Ellipse Tool
The ellipse tool it tricky to use, instead of going from corner to corner like most software, it goes from center to edge. Try it and you will see what I mean.
And after a lot of hours, playing around with options during boring classes, I have fond some tricks and tips.
- View profile pictures larger by dragging them to a new tab.
- If you need to get a teachers attention while chat is off raise your hand, If that dose not work click it as many times as possible, but do it sparingly, it is really annoying.
- You can use whatever emojis you would like if you have an emoji keyboard extension. My Chromebook has one built in.
Thanks for reading!