Data Sharing within Videoconferencing

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Data sharing, data exchange, e-collaboration, remote collaboration there are many terms used to describe the simultaneous sharing of a document or application across a network. This is an area of communication that is full of promise and exciting possibilities. Although interactive collaboration of this kind can be useful on its own, productivity is greatly enhanced if the participants are able to talk to each other, and/or see each other. For this reason this guide considers only data sharing within videoconferencing, i.e. as an additional presentation or communication tool that is used as part of a conference with audio and video.

These pages present an overview of options for data sharing within videoconferencing, but most attention is paid to those methods and applications that are applicable to users of the JANET Videoconferencing Service (Janet Videoconferencing).

Here are the definitions of terms used in this document:

  • Data sharing means the simultaneous display of the desktop (screen) of one computer (or of an application running on one computer), on another display at a different location, with changes updated on both displays in real time. A practical example would be the sharing of a Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint presentation, where the lecturer shares the presentation by running it simultaneously on a local and a remote monitor. The students at the remote location(s) can see the presentation, but not alter it, or change slides, etc.
  • Interactive data sharing means the same as above, but with the additional possibility of either/any location being able to take control of the desktop or application, and thus update it in real-time, so that both ends see the changes. A practical example would be a meeting in which a MS Word document under development was shared so that all users could enter, delete or review text.
  • PC Personal Computer, usually a desktop, but may be a portable computer or laptop.

NetMeeting is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation. Screen shots are reprinted by permission from the Microsoft Corporation.