Web Conferencing Tools for Online and Blended Education

I sent out the following request over our Web 2.0 Group’s message system:“I need suggestions for web-based applications that can be used in online language courses. It is important to one of my language professors that the class is able to hear and see one another….audio and video.  She places an emphasis on the movements of the mouth when pronouncing words. I’d appreciate recommendations and advice from my Epsilen colleagues.”
Synchronous:

·         Skype Videohttp://www.skype.com/getconnected/  (free)   audio/video
I (Nancy Wozniak) want to experiment with this application for online or blended language courses.  I’m hearing good things about it from my colleagues in the U.K. and U.S.A.  http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/videocall/#high-quality-video    Suggested by Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi), Marianne Dombroski (New York Times), Mike Lane (Portland State University), Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi).

·         The Flashmeeting Projecthttp://flashmeeting.open.ac.uk/home.html  (free)  audio/video
This one is new and highly recommended by  Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi).  Clark is experimenting with this application for meetings.  I’d like to try it.

·         Facebook – http://www.facebook.com
Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi) wrote, “

·         Elluminate (vroom) – http://www.elluminate.com/vroom/index.jsp  (3-person Elluminate solution called Vroom for free— There is a cost for upgrade.)   audio/video
Htay L. Hla (U of Arizona) , Marianne Dombroski (New York Times,  Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi) and Susan Woerner (SUNY Broome)suggested Elluminate as a possibility

·         DimDim.com – http://www.dimdim.com/ (free) audio/video
Marianne Dombroski , New York Times, suggests this as a possibility but has heard mixed reviews on the use of the application.

·          Vyew – http://vyew.com/site/  (Free) audio and video
Mike Paige (Cleveland State Community College) has tried it, but loves Wimba LC (licensing fee).

·         Adobe Connect – http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro  (licensing fee)
Mike Lane (Portland State University) suggested it as an eLearning tool.

·        Wimba Learning Classroom –  http://www.wimba.com/products/integration.php    (license fee) audio and video
Ron Paige (Cleveland State Community College)  replied, “Our small community college is entering the second year of a contract with Wimba Live Classroom (and Wimba Voice Tools, as well). I have played with Vyew — free at the basic level — but find Wimba LC ideal for our distance learning needs. The App Share feature makes it more than a distance learning tool, however. I have instructors using LC both in the classroom and across the county. The new version of Wimba LC (V5.2) includes protocols for multiple types of video input (more than just your webcam), which is a useful feature.          

·         Transparent Language  http://www.transparent.com  
Melanie Reed (IUPUI) writes, “note the upper left link for Educators, the Blogs down center page, and this link for Educators at the bottom: http://www.transparent.com/educators/index.htm” , and adds “
BYKI, is part of this online program and the “lite” version can be downloaded for language labs for free: http://www.byki.com/  It also features a Web 2.0 Widget tool with a word-a-day that can be installed on the desktop.”

Asynchronous:

·         Voice Thread – http://voicethread.com/   (free)  audio and video
Suggested by 
Susan Woerner (SUNY Broome) and Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi). 

·         YakPackhttp://www.yackpack.com/   (free) audio and image (no video, as far as I can determine.)  This application looks interesting and Clark Shah-Nelson (SUNY Delhi) recommended it as a possibility.   I’d like to try it.

·         Flickr or a wiki (in general)  http://www.flickr.com 
Susan Woerner (SUNY Broome) mentioned, The other possibility is Flickr since they now have the capacity to include video. It might cost some though because she’s talking about some pretty big storage needs. But that does include the ability to privatize so just she and her class can use it. Otherwise, she could explore using a wiki where she can store video clips. With a wiki she might be able to give each student her/his own page or group students together, etc.”

9 thoughts on “Web Conferencing Tools for Online and Blended Education

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  2. Bringing Composers into Classrooms Through Skype
    Recommended Article:

    This Campus Technology article is worth reading and Skype is a Web 2.0 application worth using in the classroom – Bringing Composers into Classrooms Through Skype, by Linda L Briggs, 8/27/2008 – http://www.campustechnology.com/articles/66727 .

    It would be interesting to know how many of us are using Skype or other Web 2.0 video conferencing tools (see Wiki area) to bring experts in the field into the classroom. Email me or post a discussion in our our Web 2.0 Epsilen Group Forums. I’ve been thinking about bringing alumni that are experts in certain disciplines into my classroom through Skype. Why not bring the alumni back to campus? We have the Web 2.0 tools to do. What do you think?

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  3. a blend of asynchronus and synchronus solutions is the HyperOffice Collaboration Suite, with synchronus collaboration tools – shared workspaces, document collaboration (both synchronus and asynchronus), calendars, task management, contact directories, wikis, forums etc, as well as synchronus collaboration tools – web conferencing. and the unique thing is, all these tools integrate with each other at the data level.

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