Clearly, Zoom (more information here) has exploded to become a leading platform for online teaching and learning as well as general online meetings in early 2020, but it is certainly not the only platform/tool available, it doesn’t offer all the functions liked and needed especially in creative studio courses, and recently it raised a series of security concerns.
Adobe Connect integrates video conferencing with a broad range of audience engagement tools (e.g. multiple chat pods, polls, quizzes, simulations, breakout rooms, games etc.)
BigBlueButton is an open-source web conferencing system. In addition to various web conferencing services, it has integrations for many of the major learning and content management systems.
BlueJeans is cloud video conferencing software to easily and securely hold live video calls, webinars, conference calls, and online meetings.
ClickMeeting is a conferencing software with a focus on webinar delivery, i.e. they natively integrate online quizzes, attendance taking, etc.
Highfive integrates hardware and software solutions for video conferencing. Commercial
Jitsi is a collection of free and open-source multiplatform voice (VoIP), videoconferencing and instant messaging applications. As open-source platform it’s infinitely customisable.
A video conferencing system that streams in high-definition.
Remo brings a quite different approach to video conferencing based on an interface that initially looks like a floorplan. Upon entering Remo, you will see a top-down, 2-D map view of an event venue, virtual office, conference, or school, full of interactive “rooms.” Each room hosts an always-on video chat for occupants of a room, making it easy for collaborators to pop in and out of conversations with ease.
The StarLeaf app is a simple, secure and reliable application for messaging, meetings and calling, inter-operable with other third party video calling devices. Free version is limited to meetings of 46min.
Talky is a software for video chatting in groups up to 6 people. Rather than using a personal account, Talky uses unique URLs that you can share with those you’re meeting with.
UberConference – a product of the ride sharing service Uber – is a cloud-based conferencing system with one of the simplest interfaces in this kind of softwares. Free version limited to <10 participants.
For the Great Chinese Firewall not all communication platforms may work and/or be available in China – especially anything related to Google. If you need to connect to students there, you may try one of the following.
A conferencing and teaching app that works in China.
The very impressive productivity app DingTalk by e-commerce giant Alibaba introduced new features for schools include live-streamed classes for as many as 300 students, and online testing and grading features. DingTalk features end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption over SSL/TLS connections. It is also one of the first Chinese apps to have obtained the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard.
Use Genially to create presentations, interactive images, infographics, dossiers, quizzes, etc. enriched with interactivity and animation effects.
Thinglink is a unique annotation tool that adds interactive links to images, videos. Upload an image, tag it and simply embed it on your website.
Conceptboard is a virtual collaboration tool, that boosts project management and improves collaboration. Work with teams, clients, and external partners across the globe on an infinite workspace as if you were in the same room.
Padlet is a website and app that allows participants to curate information – videos, text, links, documents, images – onto virtual bulletin boards using a simple drag-and-drop system.
Spatial turns the space around you into a shared augmented workplace. Remote users can collaborate, search, brainstorm and share content as if they were in the same room.
Connec2 provides the same basic tools that you will find in any consultation room: whiteboards with markers, post-it’s to post comments, interactive presentations and Kanban boards with overviews of current projects and documents, but all in a virtual reality setting.
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