Videoconferencing on the Cheap

One of our teachers would like to use videoconferencing this year, but our budget simply won’t cover the cost of the equipment. I’ve heard there’s a way to use a camera and laptop to conduct videoconferences. Can you tell me more?

There are programs for both PCs and Macs that enable users to conduct videoconferences — with some limitations, of course. One program, Skype, is a free download that allows subscribers to make voice over Internet phone calls. Skype now offers a free plug-in to add video as well. Called vSkype, the plug-in allows up to 200 callers to join in a video call. It’s even possible to share items on computer desktops during the call.

Depending upon what the teacher hopes to accomplish through a videoconference, it would be worth his/her while to explore this alternative.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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