Video conferencing tools are increasingly being used to enhance students’ experiences.
These video conferencing tools assists the colleges and universities to deliver high-quality learning experiences to students situated in remote areas as well as coordinate with their sub branches for administrative work. At the moment, many colleges and universities are commonly making use of video conferencing tools to conduct its different courses both on campus and online.
While selecting a video conferencing tool, institutions should take into considerations their end motive of using the tool and based on it select either a paid or free web conferencing tool. The major difference between the two- a paid and free version is that in the paid version, it comes loaded with advanced features. While in the free of cost tool, such advanced features are missing.
However, we would advise users’ to make use of the free tools and when they find they require more advanced features, they can jolly well switch to the paid version tools any time. For educators and institutions, we have listed out some of the popular and free web conferencing tools that helps to share screen, record meetings, collaborate in real time and many other facilities.
Big Blue Button- this free tool is built to cater to the needs of higher education. It assists the universities and colleges to deliver superior quality learning experience to students who are remotely situated.
It is basically an active open source project with clean design, usability and modularity feature inbuilt in the tool. The tool is comprehensive and one with a solid foundation as it has been built by combining over 14 open source components. It contains a virtual whiteboard, facilitates with text chat, audio and video capabilities and encompass many presentation and conferencing features.
OpenMeetings- It is a free browser-based software that assists students to set-up conference in the web. Users can use their microphone or webcam, share documents on the whiteboard and also share their screen or record meetings. The tool is available as a hosted service but if users wish to download and install a package on their server they can do so without any limitation in usage or users.
Google Hangouts- if one wishes to check out and share information to the online learners, Google Hangout can be a great tool to be used and often considered as a much better tool than a web chat. It offers high-end video as well as audio conferencing solutions without any requirement of additional downloads for the user to perform conferencing facility.
Join.me- the freemium version of join.me allows one to hold an unlimited number of meetings with up to participants per meeting by using up to five video streams. One can chat with participants, transfer files and join the audio part of any meeting through internet (VoIP).
Mikogo- It is a free cross platform screen sharing and video conferencing software. The advantage of using this tool is that it assists students to share any screen content or application over the internet in true color quality with up to 10 participants simultaneously.
MeetingBurner- It hosts up to 10 webinar attendees for free with no ads. They instantly share the screen with anybody and work with iPhones, iPads and Android Phones. Individuals can also derive the analytics for the meetings to understand how the guests interact on their content.
ZohoMeeting- the Zoho Meeting helps in conducting unlimited meetings for a prolonged duration. It also helps user with benefits such as desktop sharing, multi-platform support, instant meeting schedules and instant messaging facilities. Users can get started with online meetings, share their desktop to anyone, anywhere and at any time without any inconvenience.
WebHuddle- by using WebHuddle, meetings can be conducted in conjunction with the other institutions teleconferencing service or through WebHuddle’s optional voice over IP. The tool also offers facilities such as recording capabilities, presentations can be easily recorded for playback over any web browser for participants who have missed the live meeting.
Adobe Connect Now - it is a great tool with which one can share ideas, discuss details and complete work with the others online. It basically operates inside a web browser and users do not need to install anything to operate to start using this tool.
Zoom- It is a video conferencing and web conferencing, group conferencing tool that offers complete security, user management and online support facility to users.
Please share with us your comment on the same and if you are using any other free video conference tool, which we have missed out from the list above, kindly share the name of the tool in the comment box below.