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Introduction to web conferences

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A live web conference from a field trip location.What is Web conferencing?

Web conferencing is a technology for meeting online, that is enabled by the Internet and allows greater interactivity than traditional media.

Web conferencing allows classroom participants to

  • listen to experts and each other
  • watch video streamed from a remote location
  • respond to a presentation or a shared image
  • send instant messages to the organisers for vetting and sharing
  • vote in quick polls or surveys.

Why have Web conferences?

  • Web conferences support key competencies especially ‘Relating to others’ which is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. This competency includes the ability to listen actively, recognise different points of view, negotiate, and share ideas.
  • They are a free or minimal cost way to include students in activities happening in remote and inaccessible locations.
  • They provide a means for students to identify and develop relationships with real people at a distance.
  • They support the development of student communication skills.
  • Students gain experience and become confident and competent using new ICT by listening, speaking, reading, drawing and writing within the web conference environment.
  • They are an effective way of disseminating the latest information to schools, groups and individuals over a wide geographic area.

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