Top Video Conferencing Systems eLearning Professionals Should Know About
On occasions when face-to-face communication is essential, but in-person meetings are out of the question, video conferencing systems are a valuable asset. The challenge is to find the best video conferencing system for your specific eLearning needs and budget, especially when there are so many options available. Here are the top 10 video conferencing systems that every eLearning professional should know about.
- Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts offers a free version that is one of the top video conferencing systems available today. However, if you plan on including more than 20 people in your chat, then you may want to consider their upgraded subscription. Hangouts Pro is just at $9 a month and can accommodate up to 50 users at once. It also boasts other great features, such as email reminders, so that you can boost your attendance rates.
If you’re looking for a video conferencing system that allows you to brand your virtual meeting space and waiting room, as well as hold moderated Q&A sessions and private chats, then ClickMeeting should be at the top of your list. They offer a 30-day free trial, and plans start at just $30 per month after that.
- Citrix GoToMeeting
This video conferencing system is packed with features, ranging from meeting scheduling and easy-to-create invitations to participant identification and built-in screen sharing capabilities. It is $24 per month up to 5 attendees simultaneously, or $39 per month up to 25. The convenient invitation links are a big plus, as attendees can simply click on the hyperlink to access the chat on any device.
- Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect offers a user-friendly interface and boasts a wide range of features such as breakout rooms, private chats, and slide sharing. You can even carry out polls throughout the eLearning course of your virtual meeting to get immediate feedback, or share documents to work on online projects collaboratively with your team members. Their subscriptions start at $45 per month. They also offer Adobe Connect Webinars for $1250 a year and Adobe Connect Learning for $3500 per year.
- Skype Premium
Skype is one of the most popular free chat tools. However, they also have a paid version, Skype Premium, which is $9.99 per month. Their Premium option features group calls that can accommodate up to 10 users, as well as a screen sharing tool that boosts its collaboration factor. If you already use Skype for one-on-one online meetings and want to add more participants into the mix, then Skype Premium is the natural choice. The low price point also makes it ideal for small businesses or eLearning development teams.
From conference calling to call routing, eVoice provides a wide selection of features that make it a great video conferencing system for eLearning professionals who need an all-in-one solution. Their plans start at $29.99 per month, which includes 1000 minutes of calling and 5 extensions, as well as 15 phone numbers. Their basic packages only cover voice, but their premium subscriptions include video and web conferencing. If you want to convey a more professional image, but simply don’t have the budget to set up a physical office, eVoice is definitely worth considering.
- Cisco WebEx
The free version of WebEx only includes voice calling, but their Premium package features voice conferencing that supports up to 8 users simultaneously. It is $24 per month or $228 annually, and boasts screen sharing tools, document sharing, and a whiteboard where every member of your team or audience can jot down their opinions and ideas. Cisco also offers an Event Center where you can host webinars, and a Training Center that allows you to conduct online training.
According to their website, 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Join.Me, which comes as no surprise thanks to their user-friendly platform and quick setup process. You just download it onto your computer and start your first meeting in a matter of minutes. They offer a 14-day trial for all of their plans, but also have a free option that features VoIP conferencing. After the trail is over, you can carry on with the plan for just $19.99 per month, which covers phone numbers and video conferencing system.
This option is ideally suited for webinars and online presentations, as you can host up to 1,000 users at a time. They also offer a 30-day free trial that gives you the chance to try before you buy. After that, it is $19.95 per month. However, if you want to add in video support, StartMeeting must be paired with a variety of other video conferencing systems, such as Adobe Connect, to add in the video support.
Yugma offers a free version that allows for up to 2 participants and limits the virtual meetings to an hour. They also have 6 different paid plans that start at $24.50 per year. The platform features screen sharing, audio conferencing, private chats, Skype support, and whiteboards that streamline collaboration with your team. You can also poll your audience during the meeting and add annotations.
Reach out to team members and boost the collaboration of your online course by using these video conferencing systems in your eLearning strategy. If the platform offers a free trial, then take the opportunity to try out the features and functions to ensure that it’s a good fit for your eLearning needs.
Want to learn more about differentiated pricing factors of different video conferencing systems? Read the article The Insider's Guide To Video Conferencing Pricing Models to discover the video conferencing pricing structures that are available today.