29 April 2010

Tech Note: InstantConference

My recent good find for free phone conferencing: InstantConference. The free version supports call-in by up to 150 participants who are responsible for their own cost of long-distance service or cell minutes. Moderator privileges can be extended to more than one person. Session recording is free. A "permanent" phone number is assigned upon enrollment.

Paid versions of the system include toll-free calling, so that joining the conference doesn't cost the caller anything.

The free version produced (for me) clear voices for conferences of 3 and 5 people. I especially liked the optional Moderator panel that I logged onto online (while using my phone to participate in the call). Even for free, the system provides good muting controls, which are important for large groups.

To enhance a meeting, I also use a virtual space online (vOffice, which I pay for) so that files or desktop can be displayed for the group. While I like the VoIP that comes with vOffice (and other web conference platforms), group use continues to pose problems such as feedback and static. A lot of VoIP problems can be solved by every user plugging in a headset; but compliance is difficult. Pairing a web display with phone conferencing is a good alternative.

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with any product or company mentioned here and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning them. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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