Online lecture viewers can zoom, pan within videos using new software

To use zoom and pan functions, most current lecture capture technology requires someone in a control room to operate remotely controlled cameras as the lectures are being recorded. Girod estimated that lecture halls, which need to be specially designed, can cost more than $100,000.

“Our students thought about technological advances, took initiative and said, ‘We can do the same thing for $500,'” Girod said.

ClassX software requires nothing more than a tripod, high-definition camcorder, and a wireless microphone. Humans only need to intervene to set up the camera and upload files online.

The program includes an interface function that enables ClassX to connect with other learning management systems at Stanford, such as CourseWare and Sakai. Users can thus incorporate ClassX video capacity into other learning management systems that may already have course assignments and lecture slides, but lack video.

“The thing that excites me the most [about the project] is that it’s something that applies to education. We have a lot of cases of students who cannot stay on campus for the whole quarter,” Halawa said. “One student who was on the North Pole was watching the videos and said he felt like he was in class attending Stanford.”

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