When I first started at Kent State University, I was the Desktop Video Conferencing Director. My job was to help professors and teachers get connected for video conferencing. It was very tough. Now it's not so difficult. Everybody does it on the computer or phone! Why not use it to connect with your students and have an online class! I am recommending we try out Zoom. Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a desktop and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. It offers multi-screen capabilities, so attendees can see multiple people. Zoom users can choose to record sessions, share documents and chat, all with one easy-to-use platform. The free plan allows up to 100 attendees for meetings as long as 40 minutes. This is Great!
Here a quick overview of Zoom.
To get started, go to Zoom and download the app to your computer, chrome book, tablet or phone. A user can also connect over Zoom by logging in on the Zoom website.
To join a meeting, click on the Zoom icon. Press on the Sign in button and select your Google account. Type in the code you received from the Conference Leader.
If you click on New Meeting, you will be the leader of the conference. Next click on join with computer audio. The camera window will open and then click on invite participants. From here you can select email and Zoom will generate a message with the conference code and password that can be sent to the participants.
On the bottom of the video window, there are the controls for the video conference. The leader of the meeting and the participates can mute their mic, stop video, share screen, chat and record the conference.
To invite participants into your conference, click on "Manage Participants", select invite, email and gmail. Zoom will generate a message to be sent to the participants.