PxPixel
Webconferencing - Tech Learning

Webconferencing

Listen to the podcast Question: What is webconferencing? The IT Guy says: Webconferencing is a close relative of instant messaging, videoconferencing, and other online messaging systems. There are a number of flavors of webconferencing, but an element central to all versions is that people in different
Author:
Publish date:

Listen to the podcast

Question: What is webconferencing?

The IT Guy says:
Webconferencing is a close relative of instant messaging, videoconferencing, and other online messaging systems. There are a number of flavors of webconferencing, but an element central to all versions is that people in different locations can see the same shared screen on each individual computer. Most also feature a chat window so you can type in messages about what you are viewing on the screen, and have mark-up tools to highlight items on the shared screen.

From here out, the options start to vary. Some webconferencing systems have voice options; some require you to use a phone conference. Some have videoconferencing built in. Some have education-specific tools, such as quiz functions or flags to "raise your hand" to ask a question.

Costs range widely as well. The most well-known system is WebEx, which has been around a number of years. It uses phone conferencing for the audio. A newer system is Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional, which features voice and video built in. An education-specific system is Elluminate, which has a free system for hosting up to four people at a time called vRoom. (Their goal is to get you hooked so you'll buy the full system!) They have voice included.

The main drawback of most of these systems is that they are very costly. I have been using a service called GoToMeeting which is the most affordable I've seen yet. I actually did a presentation last year when a family emergency prevented me from traveling to the conference. I sat in my office and shared my PowerPoint remotely through GoToMeeting, using Skype to narrate the slides. It was easy, and I received many positive comments from the participants!

I have found that having a voice discussion while viewing a shared screen is a very natural and productive means of collaboration. I am certain we will see more use of this kind of tool in professional development and classrooms.

Next Tip: Autocorrect

Featured

Related

Image placeholder title

The Pros and Cons of Texting and IM by Kelley Loftis

Text messaging and instant messaging have become so widely used by teens that teachers have noticed a drastic change in students’ writing habits. Students are integrating the abbreviations that are used in texting or instant messaging into their school work.

Deleting Email - Permanently

Listen to the podcast Question: When I delete email, is it really deleted? The IT Guy says: Eventually, but probably not immediately. There are two different kinds of Email systems. A client-based Email program will retrieve your messages from a remote Email server and store them on your computer's

Sharing Photos Online

Listen to the podcast Question: How can I share pictures online? The IT Guy says: There are a number of services available, but by far the most popular right now is Flickr. The service was purchased by Yahoo! last year, and to set up an account you need to have a Yahoo account. Once you do, you can

Instant Messaging over port 80

Question: Our school district has instant messaging blocked, but we have several teachers who want to participate in a collaborative project with educators in another state who use instant messaging frequently. Is there a way they can use instant messaging when it is blocked by our district? The IT Guy

Repairs

Listen to the podcast Question: Jennifer writes: I am trying rebuild my Entourage database. A "compacting failed" error message appeared, and it says a read/write error occurred (-40). It won't allow a Disk Utility typical or advanced rebuild. Any suggestions? The IT Guy says: This is a Macintosh

My Projector's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

Listen to the podcast Question: What criteria do you look at when you're evaluating LCD projectors? The IT Guy says: There are several key elements to look at when evaluating projectors, and I'm going to handle them separately over several weeks. (Actually, I'm not sure exactly how many weeks I'll need,

On-line with the show

Listen to the podcast Question: Is there an easy way to share PowerPoint shows on the web? The IT Guy says: I hesitate to use the word "easy" in relation to anything dealing with technology, but there are several not-too-hard ways to do this! If you have your own web page where you can upload files, I

My PC on my HDTV ASAP

Listen to the podcast Question: The IT Guy says: If my new HDTV is digital, and my PC monitor is digital, shouldn't I be able to hook up my PC to my HDTV? That is indeed the case. And let me tell you, there's nothing like a computer screen the size of a small billboard! How easy this is to do,

Reading Mac disks on a PC

Listen to the podcast Question: How can I read Macintosh disks on my PC? The IT Guy says: This has been a problem for decades, but is now getting to be much easier to deal with. The newer versions of the Mac and Windows have become much more friendly when it comes to sharing files, so disks created on