WebEx is a Cisco company and one of the market leaders in the field of web conferencing with over 6 million monthly users. Founded in 1996, it was at the forefront of the early web conferencing industry, later to b acquired in 2007 for $3.2 billion.
WebEx's portfolio of web conferencing solutions range from an occasional one-to-one meeting to a webinar or an online event with 5000 participants. WebEx is web conferencing software as a service (SaaS). As such, it requires no software maintenance or hardware installation and it works on any platform - PC, Mac, Linux or Solaris. Additionally, all upgrades and patches are automatic.
John Chambers, Cisco's CEO, was quoted saying that "The next big killer application on the internet is going to be education. Education over the internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail usage look like a rounding error."
Groopex currently integrates Moodle with WebEx Meeting Center and WebEx Training Center. These conferencing platforms include all which is needed for an online virtual classroom, such as:
- Handouts (document sharing)
- Face to face discussions (Webcams and VoIP)
- Viewing presentations
- Raising hand
- Taking notes
Additionally, these conferencing solutions provide:
- Real time pointing, so students can see where a teacher is reading from, or a teacher can see what a student is referring to when asking a question
- Annotation, underlining or highlighting anything needing emphasis, or drawing a diagram on a document
- Application sharing, allowing specialized applications for a particular topic to be viewed by all, and even worked on together
- Full recordings of the online conference