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Archive | September, 2013

Screenleap API, V2: New Sharing, Customization, and Integration Options

When we launched the Screenleap API a year ago, it was in response to your requests asking for a way to integrate our quick & easy screen sharing service with your applications. Since then, hundreds of you have used our API to add screen sharing to your audio conferencing solutions, e-learning platforms, webinar products, and much more.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of our API, we are excited to announce the launch of version 2, which offers additional sharing, customization, and integration options. We highlight the major changes below. Please see our API Updates page for a complete list of all changes.

Sharing Options

Sharing your screen was enabled through our Java applet in version 1 of our API. With version 2, we introduce two additional sharing options: 1) native apps for Macs and Windows and 2) a browser extension.

The native apps allow your users to share their screen by downloading and running a small app. They have the benefit of allowing your users to share their entire screen without having  to install Java on their computers.

The browser extension allows your users to share the contents of their browser windows. Although limited to sharing browser content, the browser extension does not require Java to be installed nor does it require any software download.

Customization Options

Version 2 introduces additional options for customizing your screen shares to match your requirements. You can now hide many of the controls that are shown in the presenter control panel, such as the pause button, stop button, and the toggle for switching between partial and full screen modes. We also now allow you to customize the title that is shown on the control panel so you can use your own branding.

For the viewer page, you can now specify whether you want to default the viewer page to the actual size of the screen being shared or to shrink the screen so it fits in the users’ browser window.

Finally, it is now possible to localize the sharing control panel and the viewer page to your own language. Please contact us for details on how to do so.

Integration Options

Version 2 of our API allows you to achieve tighter integration with our screen sharing service through the use of JavaScript callbacks. The callbacks allow your application to be notified of events such as when a screen share starts, when a screen share ends, when a viewer connects, and when a viewer disconnects. You can use this information to do things like show or hide additional information about a viewer as they enter or leave the screen share.

API Demo

We have revamped our API Demo page to include all the options available in our API. You can start screen shares and play around with the various sharing and customization options from the demo page.

screenleap_api_v2_demo

Build Something Great

We are excited to see what you build with the new API. If you have any questions about any of the new options or having some questions about how to integrate with the API, please contact us for assistance. We would also love to profile how you are using the Screenleap API on our site so please share your story with us!

 

 

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Holding Online Tutoring Sessions Using Screenleap

We interview Julia Winter, a high school Chemistry teacher and the founder of OChemPrep.com, about how she helps her students prepare for their AP Chemistry exams by holding online review sessions using Screenleap.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into teaching?

I have been teaching chemistry at Detroit Country Day School for 20 years. A minister told me once that he went into preaching because he could not do anything else. I understand that. Teaching is what I was meant to do.

How did you get the idea for using Screenleap in your teaching?

It was the week before the AP chemistry exam. I wanted to give my chemistry students an extra problem-session to prepare. My inspiration was Jack Netland, my student-teaching supervisor. Jack would go on local cable access the night before a physics test and take questions via phone calls. I went to one of his physics review shows as a student teacher.

I loved the experience and wanted to recreate it in 2013 with a chat on my forum and an online white board program. My students and I were testing an online white board in school and it just did not respond fast enough for my taste—I write and talk pretty fast when teaching chemistry. In the middle of this very frustrating test, I received an email from the media specialist of our middle school with a link to Screenleap and a description of the application. I immediately tried the program and found it to be perfect for what I wanted to do.

How did you use Screenleap for the study session?

That evening, I used Screenleap to share my Wacom tablet with my students as they requested problems for me to solve or concepts for me to review. I saved all the image files and posted them on my chemistry forum. My students come from all over the Detroit metro area, so using Screenleap allowed me to interact with them without them leaving their homes. The entire discussion was saved on the forum along with all of the pictures of the problems worked out so even students who could not participate in the live problem-solving session could benefit. It was a great experience for everyone, and my students did very well on the AP exam!

ochem_prep

That’s great to hear! How else are you planning to use Screenleap?

In addition to my teaching at Detroit Country Day School, I have an educational startup called OChemPrep.com. My goal is to help students prepare for organic chemistry in college with online classes and support via my online forum. I intend to use Screenleap whenever possible to support the students by allowing them to ask questions on the forum. I am hoping these “Screenleap sessions” will be an easy method for sharing pictures and images with my students as they prepare for and move through organic chemistry.

What else do you like about using Screenleap for your review sessions?

The beauty of this method of sharing information is that it is SILENT! (I have a husband who goes to bed very early and is a light sleeper, and a terrier that barks whenever I use video-conferencing!) I have tutored a student for over an hour and there was never a vocal word exchanged. I could add an audio chat to the session, but at this point I really like the beauty of teaching without noise.

Thanks Julia!


Doing something interesting with Screenleap? Share your story with us and get profiled on our site.

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Limits For Anonymous Screen Shares and Benefits of Creating An Account

It’s been an exciting summer here at Screenleap: we recently launched our Screenleap Apps for Mac and Windows, which will make it even easier for you to share your screen since they do not require Java to be installed. We will be announcing several new improvements in the coming months that will make it even easier for you to share your screen so stay tuned.

New Limitations For Anonymous Screen Shares

In the mean time, we want to make you aware of some upcoming changes to the anonymous screen share feature. An anonymous screen share is a screen share that you start by clicking the “Share your screen now!” button on our site. They are designed to make it easy for you to try out Screenleap and to start a screen share quickly when you are in a hurry. To bring anonymous screen shares in line with their intended usage, we will be limiting them to twenty minutes per day and two viewers starting September 7th.

Benefits of Creating An Account

We want to encourage you to create an account since it allows us to provide you with the best user experience. Signed-in users will continue to be able to share for two hours a day with an unlimited number of viewers.

limitations

In addition to longer screen shares and high viewer limits, signed-in users will also get access to these additional features:

Personal URL: When you create a Screenleap account, you choose a handle which your viewers can use to view your screen (e.g. http://www.screenleap.com/YourName). No more cryptic codes.

Presenter Swap: Your viewers will see a “Become presenter” button. Use this option when you need to see something that’s on your viewer’s screen.

presenterswap

Customized Broadcast Page: Customize a message for your viewers. See last month’s blog post for more details.

Personal Avatar: Open Account > Settings and Preferences to choose an image to use as your personal avatar. Viewers will see this avatar with your broadcast messages.

avatar

 

Coming Soon
Chat is coming to Screenleap in September. When you sign in to a free account you will be able to activate a chat box for sharing simple messages with your viewers. Check back soon for more information.

chat

 

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