Communication & Videoconferencing
There are many free technology tools available online that can allow for communication and video conferencing. Video conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom can be used for synchronous conversation and collaboration between participants in remote locations. GroupMe is a private messaging tool that allows users to communicate by text message.
Conferences are primarily used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and student groups. They can also be used to demonstrate technologies or troubleshoot technology issues online. Conferences can accommodate as many users as needed, though the recommended guideline is a limit of 100 users. Currently, Canvas integrates with BigBlueButton.
Conferences makes it easy to conduct synchronous (real-time) lectures for all users in a course. Conferences allows users to broadcast real-time audio and video, demo applications, share presentation slides, or demo online resources.
Google Hangouts is a video conferencing tool that can be used to make group or person-to-person video calls from a computer or mobile device. Group voice calls can include up to 10 participants. During a video call, users can text chat and share their screen with other participants.
GroupMe is a free private group messaging tool. Registered users can send and respond to GroupMe messages by text, within the app, or from the GroupMe website
Skype is a video conferencing tool that can be used to make group or person-to-person calls from a computer or mobile device. Skype to Skype calls are free. Group voice calls can include up to 25 users. The number of users allowed in group video calls depends on the device used. Skype also permits screen sharing and file transfer during calls.
Zoom is an online video conferencing tool. The basic (free) plan allows users to host group meetings up to 40 minutes in length with 100 or fewer participants. Features available during meetings include screen sharing, breakout rooms, individual and group chats, and live closed captioning by a meeting participant.