If you have not had a chance to listen to the ITL (Intel Teach Live) January webinar on Opening Your Classroom to the World, you should! Prior to that airing, I was invited to write one of my monthly articles on how to set up and use these wonderful videoconferencing tools. Unfortunately, I can’t! The guest, Dyane S, did a wonderful presentation on the how to methods that I would only be able to replicate what was done.
This month’s Taming and Training with the Techno_solver is going to build upon that wonderful webinar.
Knowing how easy it is to set up and use SKYPE and Google Hangout, you now have to make a decision on which one to use!
Trying to avoid the companies’ advertising, these three links do a good job comparing different features of these videoconferencing web tools.
I think of these applications, and others, as if I were in a restaurant selecting a meal, or determining what new car I should purchase. There are many choices with some overlapping features. Which do I pick?
In an earlier Taming and Training I mentioned that teachers use “transfer of knowledge” to assist students going from one application to another. Let’s use this same concept to “pick” which application we want to use. Items to consider are: what do you know, what are you comfortable with, what learning style do you prefer, and of course, is it usable for educational purposes.
Both SKYPE and Google Hangout are easy to use, and if you are comfortable with following their instructions and tutorials, both are easy to set up. So is one really better than the other?
I strongly suggest taking both out for a test drive. See what is easy to use, what is comfortable for you and your teaching environment. I use both and find that I like each for different reasons. SKYPE I use when I want to talk and see the reaction of the audience, while Hangout I prefer for multiuser interaction and screen sharing.
What do you look for in a videoconferencing application? Do you stay with only one or do you vary depending upon the needs of the conversation? Did you have a conference with one and felt it would have been better using the other?