Online Video Conferencing

A month ago, no one had heard of Zoom.  Now, teachers, students and parents across the globe are experts in this easy to use, collaboration tool.  Whether you use Zoom or one of the many other digital collaboration tools, there are pros and cons to each.

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Zoom is very easy to set up and use.  Create an account, host a meeting and invite others.  That's it.  The basic version is free and is more than adequate to handle the everyday needs of a classroom.  Some things to consider however, are that meeting participants can see what is in your background.  This could present an issue if someone in the house is inappropriately dressed, personal photos are on display or a cheeky sibling can't resist the urge to something silly.  Not all Education Departments are a fan so it is wise to check with your school as to whether this will be appropriate for your needs.

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Google Hangouts Meet or Meet for short is Google's answer to the lucrative video conferencing market.  Incredibly simple to use for G Suite, with ability to share screens and transfer files through Chat,  Meet has proven a very popular competitor.

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Microsoft Teams works in a similar way to Zoom.  The advantage to Teams is the ability to streamline with the Microsoft O365 suite. This allows for seamless collaboration, file search and back ups.  This benefit, however comes with a small price: it is not as simple to set up as Zoom and users need to get up to speed with how to interact with Teams in an O365 space.  It should be noted that Microsoft Teams will supersede Skype for Business. 

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Webex  is Cisco's online collaboration and conferencing tool.  It consistently rates highly as a complete integrated video, audio and file sharing platform.  It takes a bit of getting used to but it is recommended by the Victorian Education Department and in fact,can be accessed on all devices.

​© 2020 by Naomi Wiseman.

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