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Webconferencing

I’ve tried various webconferencing (or virtual classroom) platforms (Breeze, elluminate, ivocalize, wimba, centra, webex). The biggest drawback: price. Several years ago, when researching a virtual classroom tool for RRC, I was stunned by the prices (the people who I was hoping would fund the classrooms didn’t have to hesitate much before saying no :) ). Recently, some products (like ivocalize) provided much lower prices. Still, for most people, it’s tough to justify the cost for personal or educational use. I encountered Vyew today – which describes itself as: ” browser-based conferencing and always-on collaboration platform that provides instant visual communication without the need for client downloads or installations.” The voice is handled via phone, but the tool itself has a nice whiteboard, text chat, and invited user list (see the comparison chart of different platforms). For presentations, I imagine Vyew with Skype could work (though there may be some breaks in audio during large slide transfers). I’m doing some skypecasts over the next while as well to play around with that platform. It’s still an emerging field (after 7 years :) ), but has much promise.