Review: Adobe Connect 8 is the cure for Wall-o’-laptop woes and distance ed

Adobe Connect 8 is the gold standard for digitally-enhanced, multimodal instruction. And distance ed or virtual classrooms? Piece of cake, says Christopher Dawson, blogger for ZDNet Education. I reviewed Adobe Connect 7.5 last year from a higher education perspective, calling out its ability to co-opt and utilize that wall of laptops that greets too many professors. Monday, I looked at the next version of Connect more generally over on Between the Lines and was blown away by the revamped interface and utter ease with which Connect 8 could be applied in K12, higher education, and professional development. Adobe’s latest iteration of its interactive conference and meeting software is so good, I couldn’t help but imagine how it could drastically change a classroom as much as it could change a company’s business travel or conferencing solution. As with most Adobe solutions, cost will probably be the biggest issue. Connect can run as a hosted or on-premise application and is licensed in several different ways, most of which key to the number of concurrent users accessing Connect. Very large institutions could spend upwards of $50,000 on a solution with multiple servers, several concurrent hosts, and as many as 2000 concurrent student participants (business pricing is handled on a case-by-case basis; in general, educational institutions should also contact Adobe or a reseller to ensure that they buy an appropriately designed system). Obviously, smaller implementations will cost less and a school district could easily access hosted instances of Connect for under $2000 a year…

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