Educational Development

Free and easy webconferencing - the holy grail

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First there was Macromedia Breeze (now Adobe Breeze)
Then there was Elluminate
Then there is Australia's answer to Elluminate called DiscoverE

So it went in the edu world...

The rest of the world went voice over Internet (VOIP), with Skype shooting through the roof with users. Now every Internet cafe around the world has Skype installed...

But skype's weakness is its closed standard, it won't communicate with other VOIP clients. Others promoted open standard VOIP like GizmoProject and Gtalk. The kids kept using MSN, the grown ups kept using Skype.

So it went in the real world.

Now there are tones of people working out ways to use Skype for webconferencing. The edu world meets the real world.

There is the webcast academy - a network of educationalists experimenting with free, easy and scalable web conferencing using Skype, Skypeout, Skypecast and 24k streaming. Its interesting and it works! They've been doing it for quite some time, and I've been talking (through Skype of course) with Dave Cormier, one of the lead fellas of the academy who is willing to demonstrate the set up for us.

Just yesterday, Unyte - a plugin for Skype that allows screensharing or application sharing came into my view. I tested it out quickly with Joe from Australia and it worked pretty well. Here's a screen recording.

So, any day now - free and easy web conferencing on multiple platforms, scalable and familiar to most not just a few, is around the corner.

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