5.4 Examples of useful tools
Video Conferencing Tools
Microsoft Teams is a free video conferencing application that was released in 2017 by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft 365 products. It offers video conferencing tools, workspace chat, file storage and application integration. It is very user friendly and it also provides the opportunity to record your meeting so the mentee can watch it again later.
ZOOM is a video conferencing software that offers different subscription opportunities. The free plan allows up to 100 concurrent participants, with a 40-minute time restriction. The highest plan supports up to 1,000 concurrent participants for meetings lasting up to 30 hours. Zoom unifies cloud video communications, chat, and a software-based conference room solution into one platform. There is also the opportunity to record your meeting and save it to watch later.
Skype is a proprietary telecommunications application that specialises in providing VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) – based video calls, videoconferencing and voice calls. It also offers instant messaging and transmitting of files and images but it does not offer recording features.
Google meet – (previously known as Hangouts Meet) is a video – communication service developed by Google. It offers the possibility of different subscriptions (with a free option as well). This video conferencing platform offers a lot of possibilities and features (screen-sharing, raise and lower hand, join through a web browser or through Android or IOS apps, etc.). However, this platform does not offer the possibility to record your meeting.
Platforms To Create Engaging Content
Kahoot! – a platform to create online learning games which can also be used in a live class as a quiz or sent to the participants as an evaluation of a session. Creating a learning game of Kahoot! only takes minutes. You can create a kahoot from scratch, use our question bank to mix and match existing questions, edit a template, or customise existing kahoots created by other users. Host a kahoot live in class or via a video conferencing tool to connect students virtually! Questions and answers are displayed on a shared screen while students answer on their devices but you can choose to display questions on their devices, too! In assigned student-paced kahoots, questions and answers are displayed on players’ screens and you can turn the timer off. Assign them as part of distance learning or for review and formative assessment in class. Now you can assign kahoots directly in Microsoft Teams!
Jamboard – is a digital whiteboard that lets you collaborate in real time using either the web browser or mobile app. Up to 50 users per session can work on a jam at once. When using a web browser, each Jamboard browser tab counts as a session.
Using Jamboard on a computer, you can use a web browser to:
- Write and draw using a mouse or trackpad.
- Search Google and insert images or webpages.
- Drag and resize text and images.
- Present your jam to a Google Meet video call.
Conceptboard – an infinite canvas for your whole team to work together. This tool provides a collaborative online whiteboard that can be shared with the participants and allow them to work simultaneously (all together or in groups) and at the same time be able to see what others are doing. Conceptboard powers remote meetings and workshops that are more efficient and productive. It is a very powerful tool when it comes to brainstorming, Use sections and ready made templates for easy navigation and better content layout.
Moodle LMS – Moodle is a free online Learning Management System, providing educators around the world with an open source solution for eLearning that is scalable, customisable and secure with the largest selection of activities available. It also offers live chat functionality.
Reflective questions for the reader:
- Which platform do you think is more appropriate for a small and intimate mentorship group?
- Which platform do you think is more appropriate for a group of 15 people?