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Monday, March 18, 2013

5 Free Tools for Providing Remote Tech Help

If you're the "techy" person in your school but you're not in the IT department sometimes your colleagues come to you with their tech help questions before heading to the IT folks. Sometimes those questions come over the phone and you find yourself trying to explain where to click next or struggling to understand the problem the other person is trying to explain. That's when it's handy to have a screen sharing tool readily available. Here are five that are quick and easy to use.

Quick Screen Share is a free screen sharing service from the makers of Screencast-o-matic. To use Quick Screen Cast just go to their website, select share your screen, and enter your name. Quick Screen Share will then provide you with a URL to share with the person with whom you are screen sharing. When that person opens the link you he or she will be able to see your screen. Quick Screen Share doesn't require you to install anything (assuming you have Java installed) or require you to register for the service.

If Chrome is your browser of choice, the Chrome Remote Desktop is a great screen sharing tool. Using the Chrome Remote Desktop App you can grant access to your computer to another person who also has the Chrome Remote Desktop App installed. If you want to share your desktop just click "share now" and Chrome Remote Desktop will generate an access code to give to the person who will access your computer. To access and control another person's computer you just need to enter the access code that they provide to you.

Screen Leap is a free screen sharing service that I've seen endorsed by a number of speakers at ed tech conferences this winter. To share your screen using Screen Leap just visit the site, click "share your screen," enable the Java applet, and send the sharing code to the person you want to view your screen. The person receiving your invitation code will be able to see your screen when you have Screen Leap activated.

Join.me is a service offered by Log Me In. Join.me allows Mac and Windows users to quickly share their screens with each other and work together. To use Join.me you do need to download the Join.me client. Once you've downloaded the client you can start sharing your screen with anyone you like. Just give your nine digit access number to your collaborators to give them access to your screen and to converse with you.

Screenhero is a screen sharing service that offers the option for both parties (the sharer and the sharee) to use their mice to control an application. For example, I can share my screen with you and allow you to move things on my screen. Likewise, I can move things around on your screen. By sharing our screens through Screenhero any desktop application becomes a collaborative application.

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