Tech helps faculty, students interact ‘in much richer ways’


WebEx Social integrates with leading eMail programs, so users can read posts or participate in discussions without leaving their eMail. It also integrates with Microsoft Office applications, so users can edit shared documents or view comments without leaving Word, Excel, and so on. The software tracks changes to common documents and merges edits, and a mobile app allows participants to use the software from an iOS or Android device.

A social search function helps users quickly locate experts on a particular topic and ask them questions. Students and instructors also can connect with other users seamlessly by launching video calls, instant messaging, or a WebEx conferencing session from within the platform itself.

“We’re excited about the ability to take existing applications we’re working on, on campus, and have them able to be linked to, updated, and shared through WebEx Social,” Futhey says.

Technology such as WebEx Social “enables faculty and students to interact in much richer ways, with much better learning outcomes,” says L. Gregory Jones, vice provost for global strategy and programs at Duke.

Jennifer Nastu is a freelance writer from Colorado who writes frequently about education and technology.