Technology is changing the way we live and operate not only in the company boardroom, but also in the classroom. Virtual Conferencing can be used to communicate with military parents across the globe and with other children across the country.
So how does a teacher setup virtual conferencing classroom style? There are thousands of virtual conferencing software programs available. Schools should review their specific needs with the software's features before selecting virtual conferencing software. Most times an IT manager will be the one selecting the software for the classrooms.
The next thing you'll need to consider is the hardware needed to do virtual conferencing in the classroom. Some schools and classrooms are lucky enough to have a SmartBoard. If your classroom has this wonderful piece of equipment, the virtual conference may simply be shown on the SmartBoard with no other equipment needed.
If your classroom does not have a SmartBoard, you'll need to have a computer with speakers and a projector. Unless the class has a small number of students, crowding around one small computer will not make for an effective virtual conference.
WebCams are optional when it comes to virtual conferencing. However, if the virtual conference will be interactive; a web camera would help with the interaction. WebCams may be picked up at any electronics store for as little as $20.00. Again, you'll want to work with the IT manager to select an appropriate camera that is compatible with the software as well as your school's hardware.
Virtual conferencing may also be called web conferencing. With that in mind, here is a list of virtual conferencing software programs as well as some of the features available within each of them.