If you attended the May 13 faculty seminar, I am sure you understand many of the benefits of web conferencing. I like web conferencing for both face-to-face and distance purposes. In working one-on-one in a face-to-face environment, it allows you to collaborate with another user, each with your own computer. For example, as an instructional designer, I will use it when working with an instructor on a Blackboard course. We can be sitting across from one another, but both working on the same course at the same time. A professor in my doctoral program did something similar in a meeting I had with him. He pulled up my research paper using web conferencing and, as he provided feedback, we were both able to type comments on the paper. For distance education, the possibilities are numerous: virtual office hours, tutoring, group sessions, etc.
Mikogo is a free web conferencing tool that offers all of the features you would want in a web conferencing product (i.e. desktop sharing, remote mouse control, whiteboard, session recording, etc.). With Mikogo, you can work with up to 10 participants, making it perfect for tutoring or small groups.
If you want to work with a larger group, try AnyMeeting. AnyMeeting offers many of the same features as Mikogo, but you can have up to 200 participants. Yes, 200! The catch? It is ad-supported, so users will see ads. If this doesn’t bother you, it’s a great web-based tool.
We are working on getting a campus-wide tool but, until then, try out one of these freebies and get a feel for web conferencing!