Microsoft Live Meeting 2007: Web Conferencing System for Virtual Classrooms
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AbstractWeb conferencing, a technology once available only to companies with larger budgets, is now becoming more mainstream due to advances in technology and fierce market competition. In all educational settings (face-to-face, hybrid, and distance learning), this technology has the potential to engage learners and improve learning. However, how does a school choose from the burgeoning array of Web conferencing tools and applications that are offered? And a software solution is chosen, how can Web conferencing be used to enhance student learning? These questions are addressed in this article, which includes comprehensive information about a powerful Web conferencing system, Microsoft Live Meeting 2007. Web Conferencing Web conferencing is sometimes confused with video conferencing, but is significantly different. Web conferencing systems allow participants to communicate in real time with simply a personal computer, an Internet connection, and optional microphone and Web camera (webcam). These systems can accommodate both synchronous and asynchronous communication and can create powerful virtual learning environments that closely approximate face-to-face experiences (Foreman and Jenkins 2005). Participants can access and attend these online meetings through a standard Internet browser (although some Web conferencing software also requires participants to download plug-ins before they can access the meeting).