This is the seventh in a series of forum posts asking for feedback on the software and services around the different categories of Classroom 2.0 programs. This time it's online meetings: Elluminate, Flashmeeting, Skype/Skypecasts, Google Talk, etc. I'm particularly interested in desktop sharing, video capability, and threaded discussions.

Which are your favorites and why?
What features are important to you?
(If you're feeling verbose) What are the pros and cons of the programs you've tried?

Hopefully, these discussions will provide an unparalleled reference for new users making choices about what tools to use.

Tags: meetings, reviews

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I really look forward to the replies to this as this has such powerful potential impact for education. My reflections so far on these tools are:-
skype/skypecasts (My personal favourite to use with students and classes)
- easy to use, simple to set up and does not add any strain to the already existing -nervousness when collaborating with classes across the globe.
-allows video image of participants
-can record the cast, podcast it, capture photos
- skype is constantly improving its audio transmission
-if video drops chat can be used, saved and bookmarked
-students like to see each other when collaborating.
Any threaded discussions take place back on our blog posts
Disadv:- cannot share the desktop or use other collaborative writing tools or whiteboards
-lose video applications when more than two users are collaborating

Elluminate –my personal choice for staff online meetings, collaboration, professional development, virtual teamwork etc is. A great tool! The more I use it, the more I admire its huge potential.
Pros - has so many valuable tools, including shared whiteboard, desktops, web tours, video image ccapability of persons conducting meeting, collaborative tools, chat window -ability to break out into small group meetings and then return to the whole group. Moderator(s) can have control of meeting. Some great other tools eg a timer, many varied icons, shared applications. Nice easy layout.

-problems can occur with audio, access (We use this tool for the Aus/NZ online teachers meetings)
-layout not as friendly as elluminate
-allows chat and shared applications
-one big advantage is that all participants are shown as video images
-people wishing to add to audio conversations, are placed in a queue


-not a fan of wimba but have only used it a couple of times. Had trouble with audio, possibly due to school firewalls ( I think) Very simplistic and basic tools in comparison to elluminate. Layout not as user friendly
Live Blogging with coveritlive
The more I use this tool the fonder I become of it especially for classroom use and global connectivity
-allows moderation and other priveleges
-instant chat
-video sharing
-music sharing etc
Google docs
-can use it for live blogging
-instant chat features
-sharing ability
-no video capability
I'm new here, so sorry if I'm jumping into this conversation mid-stream.

I love Skype. I've used it for podcasting, for meeting with parents who are out-of-town, for helping students with homework at night, and for book discussions. I find the product easy for my students (7th grade) to download and get ready themselves. It offers many features such as video for face to face meetings and text chatting in large groups. For video capability and desktop sharing I feel it's your best bet, and it's free! (Can't beat that) I don't think it's your best option for threaded discussions.

Sitact has a nice Moodle implementation where they have integrated video and desktop sharing to Moodle. This seems promising even for individual educators who wanna run their own online or remote courses.

They have a nice demo on their site.
My favorite is GoToMeeting ( It's great for online meetings. It sets up quickly on other people's computers that don't have GoToMeeting. It's really easy to get a meeting setup fast, but it's not free.
I've used a bunch, don't feel like getting into the weeds regarding functionality (lazy)...
BUT I do want to recommend that everyone introduce their tech-wary colleagues to the simple and powerful SKYPE. I've held Skype videoconferences with newbies and it's always fun to see them marvel at the possibilities for collaboration using this simple, simple tool. Skype, and let me recommend Voicethread, are such low-threshold *wow* technologies-- they can really help teachers make a 180 and see the potential for stepping outside the bounds of school.
I agree with most of Tims suggestions.

-yahoo has a solution they were beta-ing (or alpha-ing) earlier this year that looked like it was aimed at taking down Ooovooo.
-Goto Meeting (for pay solution)
-self-hosted chatrooms around an event. you can even post valuable parts of the convo on a wiki. (this feature seems to trump out twitter as an alternative to a chatroom. in fact you can twitter the chat URL & wiki URL to spread your message further)
-Never used Second Life, but I guess its an innovative solution for collaborative work (it seems like it would work best with a document collaboration tool like Google docs or content management like Basecamp or Campfire)

Great question, great discussion.
We use Adobe Connect Pro at eduFire and really like it. It's not perfect but the feedback from our tutors and students has been very positive.
Hi everyone.

I've been exploring most all of the online meeting services over the year and I've stuck to using Wiz IQ, Twiddla, Vyew and a new one that looks like it has potential is Know Band.

I use Mindmeister for brainstorming and collaborative mind mapping in my classes with many students.


Hi Steve,

Please try eNoteFile - Notetaking and Filing Freeware at

Thanks and regards,

I use google docs to prepare lesson plans/projects with co-workers and I'm thinking about introducing it to my students so that when they're working on group projects many of them can work at the same time.

I use skype to keep in touch with co workers while editing in google docs.

I love them both because they're free and really easy to use.
Are you still running the web 2.0 week in reviews on saturday?
No, but we have plans to resurrect... Stay tuned. :) Or if you want to help, let me know.



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