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Screensharing to Learn at a Distance

Fri, October 01, 2010 9:09 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)
In the world of computer training and support, I often get phone calls from people telling me that their headers and footers aren’t working (or something of the sort). Not being computer techies, they don’t know how to describe what is on their screen accurately enough for me to understand. Being a wimp myself and not wanting to run across campus in the rain or snow, I needed a way to see their screen without leaving my computer. (Okay, so a more politically correct option is that it I waste 20 minutes of my day to walk there and another 20 minutes back. Option two is that they are at a remote site in another town.)

I began using Adobe’s Connect Now. It’s free when you register and can have up to three connections at a time. It uses audio and video with screensharing capabilities. I don’t use the video or audio to save bandwidth and just talk on the phone with the other person. Once the other person joins the meeting via a URL, you can then promote them to a presenter. They now have the ability to share their screen with you or you can share your screen with them, which ever you prefer. It does use flash technology and so you have to download and install a plug-in (which is easy to do) but requires administrative rights on the computer.

Recently, I discovered a couple other options. The first is called join.me. It’s a free service offered by Log Me In. This one also requires you to download the join.me client. It’s a quick install. It gives you a simple toolbar at the top of your screen. Just send someone the nine-digit code (join.me/###-###-###) to give them access to your screen. I can see this being used to give a quick tutorial when needed.

Another one, Mikogo, looks just as easy. It requires you to have a free account with them. Once registered, you can download the client application (it’s small). Once installed, it adds a shortcut to your desktop and also appears as an icon in your system tray (I used Windows). Click the icon to open the menu and begin a session. Share the nine-digit code with participants (there is a Join Session link on the home page). You could also have participants download and install the participant program to make joining easy if you hold regular sessions.

Do I even need to mention at this point that all of these are free? Adobe Connect does have a paid option that works very well.

I plan on using one of these with my mom who just got her first computer. She never calls to say, “I love you” anymore. Every time I answer the phone it’s, “I need your help with something on the computer.” I think this will make my life easier. I love you, Mom!

Comments

  • Thu, March 20, 2014 10:10 AM | Lorinda Hille
    I use WebEx Connect and love it!
    Link  •  Reply
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