Skip to main content

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

Next Tip: 21st Century Skills Assessments–What’s Out There?