Free Web Conferencing Tools for Teachers
Awhile back Karen Schweitzer contacted me about an opportunity to guest post on my blog. The topic of web conferencing is one that is near and dear to my heart and I have a wiki devoted to the topic of web conferencing/video conferencing in the classroom. Here is Karen’s post on web conferencing tools – thanks Karen!
Web conferencing is a great way for teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms and their daily lives. There are many free web conferencing tools that can be used to schedule meetings, host parent-teacher conferences and webinars, broadcast videos, collaborate, and share computer screens online. Here are a few free web conferencing tools that work well particularly well for teachers:
Phonevite – Phonevite is a free broadcasting service that can be used to invite people to a web conference via telephone. Teachers can record a message for attendees and have the message sent to a specific group of telephone numbers.
SAM – SAM is a free online meeting scheduler. The tool eliminates the need for multiple phone calls and notes by setting a meeting date and inviting attendees to join via email.
Yugma – This free web conferencing service can be used to conduct online meetings and share your computer screen with other people. Yugma works with up to 20 attendees and supports Windows, Mac, and Linux users.
Dimdim – Dimdim is an easy-to-use web conferencing tool that requires no download. It can be used to deliver live presentations, whiteboards, and to share video and voice over the Internet.
Vyew – This free platform provides real-time interaction and live web conferencing. Teachers can use it to give live presentations, host webinars, or conduct parent-teacher meetings.
Mikogo – Mikogo is a free cross-platform tool for desktop sharing. It can be used for online meetings, web conferencing, and much more.
TokBox – TokBox is a free video chat and messaging service that works well for parent-teacher conferences. It is simple to use and works with email and instant messaging systems.
Palbee – This free online meeting tool connects up to 10 people online. Palbee users can talk face-to-face and collaborate on a web-based whiteboard.
USTREAM – USTREAM is a free video broadcast platform that can be used to broadcast live streaming video to an unlimited number of people. Video broadcasts are interactive so that viewers can interact with the broadcaster and other viewers.
Edmodo – Edmodo is designed specifically for teachers who want to be able to privately communicate with parents and students. This free site has many different features, including the ability to send alerts, files, and events.
Skype – This free software has become very popular among teachers and other people who want to make free video and voice calls. Skype also offers instant messaging capabilities and file sharing.
ooVoo – ooVoo is a free video chat service that connects up to six people at once. Two-way chat is always free and perfect for online parent-teacher conferences.
Meebo – This free online service can be used to instant message other people no matter which IM provider they use. Meebo works with AIM, Facebook, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpace, and many other popular services.
SpeakLike – SpeakLike is a free instant messaging service that can be used to communicate with parents who speak other languages. The service instantly translates any text that is typed. SpeakLike is available for communication in English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish.
GroupTweet – GroupTweet is a free Twitter app that works well for teachers who want to be able to send private messages via Twitter. The app only sends message to people who have been invited to join the group.
Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen also writes about online colleges for OnlineCollege.org.