Web Conferencing Tools
While emails and phone calls are useful communication tools, web conferencing services often offer additional features such as video calling, group calling and screen sharing abilities. The following services and products are just some of the resources out there that can make virtual communication feel less distant.
- Apple's FaceTime provides video calling capabilities between users who have a Mac computer, iPad, iPhone, and ⁄ or iPod touch. The App can be purchased at the iTunes Store.
- Blackboard Collaborate is a communication tool with a variety of capabilities including web, video, audio, and chat conferencing. More information can be found in the Student Guide to Using Collaborate.
- Blackboard Collaborate Enterprise IM (aka Blackboard IM) is an instant messaging tool that includes several communication tools, including text, voice and video chat, whiteboard, and application sharing. More information can be found in the Blackboard Collaborate IM - FAQs.
- Cisco WebEx provides users with audio, video, presentation and screen share capabilities. This service includes whiteboard and annotation tools as well as both audio and video recording. In addition, WebEx has downloadable apps for a variety of different mobile devices.
- Conference Call provides two services that can work to enhance communication between virtual interns and site supervisors. The conference call service utilizes toll-free calling for both small and large groups, while the web conference service provides full collaboration through video, document and screen share services. The two concepts can be combined to provide access to both web collaboration and audio services if users have access to a touch-tone phone and a computer with Internet.
- Gmail Chat can be used as a basic instant messaging tool or, with the download of a plug-in, can become a tool for voice and video chatting. Users must have a Google account and the correct plug-ins installed.
- Google+ Hangouts allows you to video chat right from your Google+ account. Similar to Gmail Chat, users must have the correct plug-ins installed.
- GoTo Meeting is a web-conferencing tool that can be used for video, audio, application, and screen sharing. Participants can choose which audio method works best for them, calling in with a telephone or utilizing computer speakers and a microphone. GoTo Meeting also offers webinar and online training creation services.
- Juniper Secure Meetings provides web-conferencing services that include video, audio, and application sharing. Meetings can be shared with a simple link and no software download is required.
- ShowDocument provides online space for collaborative document sharing and web-based meetings. Users can upload files to annotate and edit in real-time while also using video and voice chat. In addition, ShowDocument allows screen share and whiteboard capabilities.
- Skype is a web-based phone service that includes a variety of useful features. Calls can be made between Skype accounts for free or to landline and mobile phones for a small fee. When using the Skype-to-Skype feature, users can enable video and chat, share files or screen share. In addition, Skype provides a group video call service for those times when more than two people need to be involved in a conversation.
- Zoho Meeting is an online meeting tool that includes web conferencing services. Participants are able to share their desktop with each other. Recorded meetings can be saved and embedded in other websites for future perusal.