Check out https://zoom.us
Give more real-time support to students in online classes when they need you!
Zoom is a free video conferencing service that is much easier than Adobe Connect or Google Hangouts. Students don’t have to pre-install any software.
All you have to do is send out an invitation URL and anyone can join by clicking, prompting the launch of a web application.
In our online classes, we are using these zoom tutorials to build community and to support student learning by meeting in small groups or 1:1. It has also been a useful tool for staff meetings and professional learning at multiple school sites. Finally, it is helpful for tech troubleshooting.
As the host of a Zoom session, you can choose to share your screen, allowing anyone to annotate on top of documents you are both looking at. This supports effective collaboration and makes student thinking visible. The teacher or student can also request remote access to control mouse and keyboard to help with tech support.
For students who couldn’t attend the online tutorial in real-time, save and record your zoom session and publish to YouTube for asynchronous learning.
The free version of Zoom has been sufficient for my needs as an online teacher.