Earlier today, I had a SUNY JCC faculty member ask me for options to have her students practice material in a video chat.
“Do you know of any other way to have them connect by video? I would like to have the option of watching the conversations.”
At this time, I would recommend these three free solutions: Google Hangouts, Skype, and Tinychat.
Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts allows teams of 10 people to come together and share their Webcams. Additionally, Google Hangouts supports screen sharing, instant messaging, and Google Drive. You can also use Google Hangouts from mobile devices. Google Hangouts is my personal tool of choice.
Skype – The newest version of Skype allows for group video calls. Skype group calls can support 10 people. Skype also supports instant messaging at the same time.
TinyChat – According to Wikipedia, “Tinychat is an online chat website that allows users to communicate via instant messaging, voice chat, and video chat.” It will support up to 12 people in one chatroom. There is also a text chat feature.
Each of these services requires their own account, and each person participating will need an account. Therefore, if used in a class, there will need to be a way to share accounts among participants.
What video conferencing tools do you want to share with other educators?