end of the software download?

No one wants to download software applications anymore. Apps on mobile devices, maybe, but not full, monstrous computer applications that are stuck on that one computer and that don’t at least talk to your mobile device. People want to access anything anywhere, obviously, and that pretty much means some sort of cloud connection–you run my software and let me in through a web browser. And let my mobile apps access the same content.

How is that working in other instructional technology spaces? In mine, it means we’re clinging to old, clunky software in the hope that it will lure faculty to come in to create content, because they can’t get the software in their offices. It doesn’t work. It’s not that kind of world anymore. If you can’t get the proprietary software in your office, you look for freeware on the web, or more likely, you have started bringing your own laptop to work so all your work is in one place and just use the office machine for email.

It doesn’t help that some of that old software–old, but up to date–seems out of fashion with the times.

time machine

Photo Credit: Great Beyond via Compfight cc

Take, for example, the two that we keep updating and trying to push on faculty (I’m pretty reluctant to do that, actually), Respondus and Adobe Presenter. In 2013, they still don’t work on Macs and we have an increasing Mac user base. The Respondus interface looks like it was created for Windows 95 and I feel like I’m in a time machine every time I do one of those workshops. Its usefulness has pretty much been reduced to the fact that you can import questions from a Word document to publish to your LMS. Making tests from scratch can be more easily done in the LMS. So, we appeal to Mac users to come in and import tests through it. If Blackboard would wake up and make that possible, we could wave Respondus goodbye.

What can I say about Adobe Presenter? PowerPoint. Flash.

We still use Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac. Digression: Why can’t they both be called Studio? Why can’t the former be called Camtasia for Windows? Oh, well. The newest update, to the Mac version at least, is the ability to send photos and videos from your mobile devices to the installed software, and then after editing, to publish to your Google Drive. Now there’s a connection that makes me appreciate the software as not tying me completely to the computer. Eventually, I hope they make only one version in the cloud for all operating systems, and maybe this mobile integration is the first step. Because people just don’t want to load up their machines with more software that mostly sits there taking up space.

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Categories: cloud computing, computers, software, technology

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