Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Marker - A Free Web Conferencing Platform

Big Marker is a new free service for conducting online conferences. I actually learned about Big Marker last weekend from a post by Larry Ferlazzo, but didn't get a chance to try it until this evening. What I discovered is that Big Marker looks like a great option for conducting online tutoring sessions, brainstorming sessions, and other online presentations.

Big Marker allows you to create your choice of a private or a public online meeting room. If you make your room public anyone can join. If you make your room private you have to give participants a password to enter the room.  Once in your Big Marker conference room you can share screens, chat via text, chat via audio, or turn on your webcam so that people can see and hear you. Your Big Marker conference room comes with a white board that you and your participants can write and draw on. As the creator of a Big Marker conference you can control who can and cannot be heard or seen in the live audio and video chats.

Applications for Education
Big Marker could be a great tool for conducting online tutoring sessions and lessons. Students working on collaborative projects could use Big Marker to brainstorm and plan for completion of their projects. As a professional development resource Big Marker could be useful for facilitating workshops online.