Web conferencing

So many people are moving online to connect with each other for various purposes. Makes sense. We have the technology. In Australia we may have issues because our NBN is not one of the world’s best. That’s another story. It may be that net access and usage will be triaged so that essential services are met first if the corona virus creates enough havoc. We’ll see.

I have noticed the most mentioned web conferencing software is Zoom. Join.me is another good one which you can trial for free and for small face to face video connections you can use  the free Skype, FaceTime, Messenger and iMessages apps.

Zoom Basic is free and there are apps you can download for mobile devices. Then there are priced versions of Zoom. This is fair. You can try it out properly and then decide whether you need a paid version.

TechRadar has a sound review of Zoom. Zapier has some tips and tricks you might like.

It is vital we stay connected and it is important we share our best tips and tricks for doing that . Some of the connectivity will be dealing with some big issues but the bulk of it needs to prove to us that we are all connected and can manage socially and competently in a virtual environment.

Now, clean those screens, please!




Free web conferencing tools

One of the things with laptops in the classroom is you can try our new ways of doing things and it means taking a risk, but without the doing there is no knowledge of how it can benefit you as a teacher or students as learners. This year I have tried a few new things. This year I am thinking of trying web conferencing. I have picked my class. They are really reliable students who will push through the nuisance value of not being quite sure what you are doing and they will help sort out issues. I am the one who works out how it all goes together and I am the one who works out what we can do with anything new in terms of work and then they enjoy pioneering the software and applications so we have a sense of success. I know Net Meeting works but we have Apples and no Windows so I am looking at these open source web conferencing tools so I can see what they do and how they can help us learn. In the end we may well find an application we have to pay for, but if I don’t know what to expect in terms of benefits then I wouldn’t be asking for an investment from anyone. It is really important as we pioneer technology in schools that we have a proper chance to work out how things can help and we are not forced to buy things to try them. Once we know what we are talking about, then yes, we would be able to make sensible purchases if necessary. I am grateful there is enough free software for me to be able to try things like web conferencing and I am thinking of starting with Web Huddle!

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