Video conferencing means using computers to provide a video-link between two or more people. Instead of just talking to someone by telephone, you are able to see them as well. This communication method can be used for work or general social life.
The following is needed to take part in a video conference call:
- a computer/phone
- a web cam
- a microphone (most webcams have a microphone built-in)
- broadband Internet access
- video conferencing software
Advantages of video conferencing
- Meetings can take place without leaving the office.
- Travel costs and the time taken to travel can be reduced significantly.
- You can plan social events or speak to friends that live far away
Disadvantages of video conferencing
- May not be as productive as a discussion around a table.
- If one persons connection to the internet is weak it can be difficult to hear or see the person.
- There will always be times when you need to be able to meet face to face.
A great video conferencing software is Skype. It allows you to phone anyone in the world along as they have a Skype account. To start a group call you need to select your recipients.
Click the pencil within the square to start a new conversation.
Then type the recipients names in to the ‘to’ field. Once you have selected your recipients click the video camera to start a video call.
This screen will appear on your phone or computer. Accept the call with the green button.
And then you will be able to see all of your recipients. If you would like to start a Audio call (often known as audio conferencing) then you simply press the phone icon.
Then this screen will appear. You will have to wait until everyone has accepted the call before you can hear everyone. Again you can mute the conversation, put the conversation on speaker and switch from audio to video.
As you can see at the top of the screen, it will tell you how many people have accepted your call for example only 1/2 have accepted this call.
And then quickly after the 2nd recipient accepts the call.
You can also add people to the audio call by clicking the Add button this will then bring up the screen below.
Once the call is ended you can see how long your conversation was and you can message the recipients after the call.