Showing posts with label video conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video conference. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Unhangout - Video Conferencing With Break-out Groups

We've had "unconferences" in the form of EdCamps for years. Now we have Unhangout for "unwebinars." Unhangout is a free video conferencing service developed by a small team at the MIT Media Lab. Unhangout provides free video conferencing spaces that include chat and the ability to create break-out groups from the main video conference. The purpose of the break-out feature is to let the group start with a big conversation and then let small groups split off for conversations that develop during the conference. In that sense it's a bit like the EdCamp "unconference" model. Watch the following video to learn more Unhangout.


Applications for Education
My initial thought about Unhangout is that it could be a good tool for online, informal professional development in the EdCamp model. For folks like me who don't care for how impersonal some Twitter chats have become, Unhangout could offer a more personal connection to the folks with whom you're discussing the issues of the day.

I learned about Unhangout from a post that David Kapuler wrote last week. Thanks David!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Appear.in - Registration-free Video Conferencing

Appear.in is a free video conferencing service that I recently learned about from Ana Maria Menezes. Appear.in allows you to create a video conference room without registering for any kind of account. Your Appear.in video conference room can accommodate up to eight people.

To create your room just go to Appear.in, pick a room name, and grant Appear.in access to your webcam. Appear.in will give you a URL for your conference room. Share that URL with the people that you want to join you in your video conference. If you want to save your room to re-use on multiple occasions, you can enter your email address and choose a password to lock and save your room. Locking your Appear.in room prevents people from using it when you're not in it.

Appear.in does not require the installation of anything. It will work in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Appear.in does not require Javascript so it will work on Chromebooks.

Applications for Education
Appear.in could be a great tool for hosting online tutoring sessions, bringing guest speakers into your classroom, or hosting online meetings with colleagues. The registration-free and installation-free aspect of Appear.in makes it easy to get your web conference started quickly.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

VIDquik Offers Quick Web and Video Conferencing

VIDquik is a service that I tried out five months ago. At that time it offered video calling. Today, I gave it another look because it now provides web conferencing too. The web conferencing option allows you to present slides while video conferencing and text chatting at the same time. To host a web conference you have to register for the service, but your participants do not. Participants join your conference by simply clicking on the link that comes in the invitation email that you send to them.

Applications for Education
Using VIDquik could be a good way to host an online tutorial session or to deliver a short lecture over the web. When I tested VIDquik this afternoon I saw what looked like an option for screensharing, but it wasn't quite working the way that I expected it to. Hopefully, this feature becomes live soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

9 Ways Students Can Host Peer Tutoring Sessions Online

During my last year as an undergraduate studying history and political science I got my first taste of teaching by running short tutoring sessions for freshmen who were in U.S. History 101 courses. In those days tutoring had to happen in the university library or in a vacant classroom. Today, thanks to web conferencing tools, students don't even need to be in the same country in order to tutor each other. Here are some good tools that students can use to host peer tutoring sessions online.

The Obvious Options
Skype is probably the most obvious option for hosting an online tutoring session. The screen sharing option makes it easy to talk and show diagrams or other images to aid explanations. The limitation is that for group video conferencing you need to have a premium Skype account.

Last week Google announced that Google+ can now be activated inside Google Apps for Education domains. This means that students within the same domain can host Google+ Hangouts. In a Google+ Hangout students can video conference, text chat, share documents, share their screens, and use third party apps like Concept Board to host online collaborative brainstorming sessions. Outside of a Google Apps for Education domain students who are 13+ can host Google+ Hangouts to use for peer tutoring.

The Lesser-Known Options
Live Minutes is a service offering free hosting for webinars. It takes less than thirty seconds to set-up a webinar on Live Minutes. To get started just click "start sharing" and a meeting space is created for you. That meeting space is assigned a URL that you can share with the people you want to join you. Live Minutes offers a good selection of tools that you can utilize to share ideas with others. You can talk to each other using either the Live Minutes audio or by connecting through Skype. Live Minutes offers a collaborative whiteboard for drawing. Uploading images and documents for others to see and comment on is also an option. And in the future Live Minutes will allow you to share videos during your webinar.

Any Meeting is a nice service for hosting and recording live webinars without installing any special software. When using Any Meeting as a webinar host you can share your screen, use your webcam, and use text chat all at the same time. As the webinar host you can invite others to talk to the group using their webcams. You can have up to six webcams active in a webinar at any one time. You can record all or part of your webinar for free too. If you have people that just want to participate in the audio aspect of your webinar, they can call in using the phone number and access code assigned to your webinar.

Meetings.io is a registration-free tool for hosting online video conferences. Meetings.io allows you to have up to five people in a room. You can start using Meetings.io by simply clicking on the blue "Get a Meeting Room" button. When you click that button Meetings.io will create your room and assign it a URL to share with the people you want to video conference with. Once the room is created just allow Meetings.io to access your webcam and you're in business. You can make your room public or private after it has been created. If you do want to register on Meetings.io, you can. Registering on Meetings.io allows you to create a personalized room with a URL chosen by you. That room is yours to use as many times as you like.

Meetingl is a free service for hosting video conferences. A Meetingl conference room can be created in less than a minute. To create your room just go to the site, click "New Room," name your room, and send out invitations. To broadcast your video and audio select "allow" when you're asked if you want to grant Meetingl access to your computer. Mettingl is flash-based so you and your conference participants will need to be on a laptop or desktop computer.

Join.me is a free 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. Use Join.me to share a slide presentation and chat or share scientific calculator on your screen and explain to students how to solve an equation.

VSee is an alternative to Skype for hosting a video conference and sharing your desktop with others. Just as with Skype, you can hold multiple party calls and share your screen with another person. Where VSee tries to differentiate itself is in the quality of their calls and connection speeds. VSee offers HD video for clear call quality. For mobile users, VSee claims to use 50% less bandwidth than Skype.  Sharing files through VSee is a simple drag and drop process of just dragging your file onto another person's video window during your call.

Big Marker is a free service for conducting online conferences. Big Marker is 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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Meetingl - Free and Easy Video Conferencing

Meetingl is a free service for hosting video conferences. A Meetingl conference room can be created in less than a minute. To create your room just go to the site, click "New Room," name your room, and send out invitations. To broadcast your video and audio select "allow" when you're asked if you want to grant Meetingl access to your computer. Mettingl is flash-based so you and your conference participants will need to be on a laptop or desktop computer.

Applications for Education
Meetingl could be a handy tool for quickly putting together an online peer tutoring session. Need a way to host an online brainstorming or planning meeting with your colleagues? Give Meetingl a try.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

VIDquik Offers Quick Video Calling

VIDquik is a new video calling system that does not require you to install any special software (you will need to make sure that Flash is up to date on your computer). To make a video call with VIDquik just click "video conf" on the homepage, enter your email address, and enter the email address of the person you wish to video call. VIDquik connect you as soon as the other person receives the email. VIDquik does give you the option to text chat while video calling.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free and easy-to-use alternative to Skype, give VIDquik a try. You could use the service to connect your classroom with their e-penpals in another part of the world.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Registration-free Video Conferencing Service Meetings.io Adds Screen Sharing

Back in May I introduced you to Meetings.io for hosting free video conferences without registering for an account. This week Meetings.io added a couple of helpful new features. First, Meetings.io now support screen sharing. Second, easy file sharing has been added to Meetings.io. To share a file with the members of your video conference just drag a file from your desktop to the transfer window in your Meetings.io space and everyone in the conference will be able to grab the file.

Applications for Education
Meetings.io allows you to have up to five people in a room so you won't be able to use it to conduct a large instruction session, but it could be a great platform for quickly hosting an online tutoring session. Now that Meetings.io supports screen sharing it has become closer to Google+ Hangouts. But Meetings.io doesn't require users to register at all which could make it a great alternative to Google+ Hangouts. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meetings.io - Video Conferencing Without Registration

Hosting a Google+ Hangout can be good way to have a video conference with a small group, but only if everyone you want to join you has a Google account. Meetings.io doesn't require users to register at all which could make it a great alternative to Google+ Hangouts.

Meetings.io allows you to have up to five people in a room. You can start using Meetings.io by simply clicking on the blue "Get a Meeting Room" button. When you click that button Meetings.io will create your room and assign it a URL to share with the people you want to video conference with. Once the room is created just allow Meetings.io to access your webcam and you're in business. You can make your room public or private after it has been created.

If you do want to register on Meetings.io, you can. Registering on Meetings.io allows you to create a personalized room with a URL chosen by you. That room is yours to use as many times as you like.

Applications for Education
Meetings.io doesn't have screen sharing or file sharing, yet but it still could be a good way to host a small video conference with students, parents, and colleagues. I think that Meetings.io could be useful for hosting parent-teacher conferences with parents who cannot come into your school.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

VSee - Video Conferencing and Desktop Sharing

VSee is an alternative to Skype for hosting a video conference and sharing your desktop with others. Just as with Skype, you can hold multiple party calls and share your screen with another person. Where VSee tries to differentiate itself is in the quality of their calls and connection speeds. VSee offers HD video for clear call quality. For mobile users, VSee claims to use 50% less bandwidth than Skype.  Sharing files through VSee is a simple drag and drop process of just dragging your file onto another person's video window during your call.

Learn more about VSee in the video below.


Applications for Education
VSee is free for personal use so students who are working on projects together could use it without having to buy a subscription. I'm not sure how pricing would work for a school-wide deployment. VSee does mention options for non-profit use in their FAQ section.

For other free options for hosting video conferences check out this review of Four Ways to Give Short Presentations Online.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Face Flow - Free Video Conferencing for Four

Face Flow is a free video conferencing system that can accommodate up to four participants at a time. Using Face Flow you can text chat while video conferencing. To invite people to join your Face Flow call all you have to do is send them link to your conversation. And if you're so inclined, you can watch a video and chat about with your friends.

Applications for Education
Face Flow could be useful for hosting an online conversation with students and or parents. If you have students whose parents cannot meet in the same place, but can meet at the same time, Face Flow could be a good way to get them together for a parent-teacher conference.

One quick word of caution about Face Flow, they do have an option for "random chat" so this is not something you would want to set students loose on without supervision. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Skype Introduces Group Calling for 10

Back in May Skype introduced five way calling as a beta product for Windows. Apparently the testing went well enough that today they introduced ten way video calling. Ten way calling is a Windows only beta product. You can read more about it here or download it here.

Applications for Education
Ten way calling could be used to connect classrooms for mini-global conferences. Ten way calling could also be used to host group study sessions online.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
A Simple Guide to Google Video Chat
3 Ways Other than Skype to Bring Experts Into Class

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wetoku - Conduct, Record, & Share Video Conferences

Wetoku is a free video conferencing system that was in a closed beta when I reviewed it last summer. Wetoku is now open to the public. Wetoku is a free service for quickly conducting, recording, and sharing video interviews using your webcam. To conduct an interview just log-in to your account, click "start new interview," and send the invitation link to whomever you want to interview. Wetoku records the videos from both participants in the interview. When you embed the recording, the videos of both participants appear side by side. If you want to make your videos password protected, Wetoku gives you that option.

Embedded below is an interview I did earlier today with Simple K12 using Wetoku.


Applications for Education
Wetoku is a simple video conferencing service that doesn't require you to install any software. This is an advantage if you work in a school that doesn't allow you to install conferencing software like Skype. The other potential advantage of Wetoku is that all calls are automatically recorded which is an advantage when compared to Skype.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
Present.io - Free Web Conferencing from Drop.io
Vokle - Host an Online Show or Video Conference

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Simple Guide to Google Video Chat

Google Video Chat is a nice alternative to Skype available to anyone using Gmail. Some folks aren't aware of how easy it is to video chat using Google Video Chat. Therefore, yesterday Google released a simple video guide and PDF guide about it.

Watch the video below.


Thanks to Steven Anderson for alerting me to this video.

Applications for Education
If you want to video chat with other classrooms around the world, but your school doesn't allow you to install Skype, Google Video Chat is a great web-based alternative.

Monday, January 4, 2010

3 Ways, Other Than Skype, to Bring Experts Into Class

Bringing experts into your classroom via video conferencing can be an excellent enhancement to your students' learning experiences. Video conferencing can also be used to connect classrooms in a 21st century version of penpal exchanges. Skype is the most common tool for making these connections and for good reason Skype is the most popular video conferencing application. It's easy to use and free for most uses. The only drawback to Skype is that you and the person you want to talk with must have Skype installed on the computers you are using. The following are three other ways to video conference without using Skype.

Present.io is one of the many excellent services created by the folks at Drop.io. Present.io allows users to set up a free webinar or video conference with just two clicks. Just like with Drop.io there is no registration required to use the service and there is no software to install. To use Present.io simply create a drop and share the drop's unique url (and optional password) with whomever you would like to participate in the conference. When you're ready to start your conference click "start presentation." If you create the conference you are the administrator and have full access to show the other participants files, links, photos, and any other media you're using on your computer.

Wetoku is a free service for quickly conducting, recording, and sharing video interviews using your webcam. To conduct an interview just log-in to your account, click "start new interview," and send the invitation link to whomever you want to interview. Wetoku records the videos from both participants in the interview. When you embed the recording, the videos of both participants appear side by side (see a sample from RWW here).

Vokle is a free service for hosting and recording live web conferences. Using Vokle you can host a live conference in which participants can chat with text while you broadcast yourself. You can also broadcast a conversation of yourself and another person who has their webcam enabled. The text chat room can be used to organize a line-up of people who would like to broadcast themselves to the other chat participants.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vokle - Host an Online Show or Video Conference

Vokle is a free service for hosting and recording live web conferences. Using Vokle you can host a live conference in which participants can chat with text while you broadcast yourself. You can also broadcast a conversation of yourself and another person who has their webcam enabled. The text chat room can be used to organize a line-up of people who would like to broadcast themselves to the other chat participants. Watch the video below to learn more.


Thanks to Kristen Swanson for telling me about Vokle. By the way, make sure you check out her blog and wiki, they're both packed with useful information.

Applications for Education
In testing Vokle and by watching recorded Vokle sessions I realized that the real utility of the service would be to host an interview with someone while using the chat area as back-channel for questions. I can see Vokle being used in a classroom to bring in an author, scientist, or other person of interest to your content area. You could conduct the interview and use the chat area for students to ask questions and exchange comments.

Update: Watch an interview with Vokle's Chief Marketing Officer.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
Present.io - Free Web Conferencing from Drop.io
Wetoku - Conduct and Share Video Interviews