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1 Definition

  • “ A discussion between two or more groups of people who are in different places but can see and hear each other using electronic communications. Pictures and sound are carried by the telecommunication network and such conferences can take place across the world.” (FolDoc
  • “ A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware (Wikipedia, retrieved 19:16, 26 June 2006 (MEST)).

2 Use in education

  • teleteaching (all levels of technology). Many teaching videos were produced and broadcasted in the 1960s and 1970s. Funding and interest then dropped. Today tele-teaching is again popular because of much lower production costs and virtually free diffusion cost (video podcasting) and free hosting (e.g. on YouTube).
  • e-tutoring (often with low end technology, see online video tutoring
  • learner-to-learner interactions within project-oriented learning designs (see also more sophisticed groupware like cscw)

3 Technology

  • See video streaming for all technical aspects related to videoconferencing
  • "Taped conferences" as e.g. in podcasting can be put on a normal webserver (but the user has to wait until the whole file is downloaded)

4 Links

4.1 General

4.2 Free products

4.3 Commercial Webservices

A new trend are services available over the web using a standard browser.

4.4 Commercial products

Most companies offer various variants, including e-learning solutions.