In our first article about Halawai we provided a general overview of the new ITS (Information Technology Services) online synchronous meeting and group collaboration tool. This article continues to discuss features of Halawai, focusing on Halawai's easy to use Templates.
Halawai makes hosting an online meeting simple with three easy to use templates which have pre-built layouts. Each template layout is composed of pods, which are "windows" that can contain various types of meeting content. Content can range from PowerPoint slides for presentations to uploaded files for participant downloads. Each template is designed to enhance various meeting venues such as sharing content or files, discussing and interacting with participants or collaborating on a project.
One can choose to use any of the three default templates, add additional pods to a template or create their own by adding any type of pod that they may find useful. Each default template layout will have a Camera/Video, Attendee List, Chat and Note pods in various locations or panels of the meeting room. The Camera and Voice pod is used to broadcast audio and video of each meeting presenter. The Attendance List pod provides a visual of all meeting participants and provides a mechanism to interact with each other using emoticons. The Chat pod can be used for quick text messaging, either privately or to the entire group. The Presenter can use the Note pod to jot down critical points and information for attendees to keep track of during the meeting.
While the templates provide fast access to certain layouts, you are not restricted to using the default pods. Additional pods can be easily added using the main menu located at the top of the meeting room screen called "Pods." The presenter would click on the pod of choice to add the pod to the meeting room.
Click on your pod of choice.
Once logged into a scheduled Halawai meeting, the first of the three templates displayed is called Sharing. To access the other two template rooms click the buttons on the navigation bar for "Discussion" or "Collaboration." This bar is located on the lower portion of the meeting room screen.
The Sharing template is pre-configured for sharing content such as a PowerPoint presentation, video and other software applications. The main pod used in this template is the "Share" window. Presenters can choose to share their computer screen and provide access to any open software application, such as Excel, directly from their computer desktop. Presenters may also share documents, such as a PowerPoint presentation, during the meeting to help enforce topics and concepts. Presenters can also choose to utilize the Whiteboard feature.
The second layout a presenter could choose to use is the Discussion template which is specifically configured for discussions or interactions with participants. The pods presented in this layout are Poll and Discussion Notes. The Poll pod is used for Presenters to create questions for participants to answer and view results. The Discussion Notes pod works exactly as the default "Note" pod in that the presenter can type in specific notes for attendees to see and can also be emailed to the presenter after the meeting is completed.
The third template is the Collaborative layout and is pre-set for collaborating on projects where one can annotate and draw on shared content. The pods available in this meeting room are Whiteboard and File Share. The Whiteboard pod can be used by Presenters to create collaborative text and drawings during a meeting. The whiteboard can be used as a stand-alone in which presenters create content on a white background or as an overlay to create content over an existing, shared document.
The File Share pod behaves just like the Share window in the Sharing Template. Presenters basically upload files to share with meeting participants. Participants can then choose to download the files and save to their own computer desktop for reference.
Setting Halawai up for a meeting can be simple using existing templates. The next time you schedule a Halawai session, build in some additional lead time to the begining of your meeting in order to give yourself an opportunity to check out these template layouts, upload meeting content to share pods, or add new pods if desired.