Thanks Steve! Webinars for Free Published 2009-07-13 under , , ,

vRoom by Steve Hargadon has lead me to another wonderful tool for educators.

Steve Hargadon - of EduBloggerCon and Classroom 2.0 fame - has been busy. Perhaps you saw him at NECC this year - NECC UnPlugged - or maybe you attened one the many PBS Teachers free webinars ("PBS Teachers LIVE!") or you just know him as the "Open Source Guy". He certainly gets around.

In addition to being a really nice guy, Steve has (and continues to be) a great source for new technologies and innovative uses of technology within education. Some of the "gems" that I discovered through Steve include Ning, UStream, and CoMapping. His most recent "gem" is a program that allows teachers to host webinars in Elluminate - for FREE. Steve has worked out a deal that gives you the opportunity host your own "public meetings" or online seminars in LearnCentral's Elluminate Room. There are few "rules" and restrictions including that the topic focus on education, it be available to everyone (for free), and that your are OK with it being recorded. This service usually costs lots of $$$'s and thanks to Steve and Ellumniate, you can get it for free. You can read more about it on the LearnCentral site and in Steve's blog.

But what if you are looking to use something like Elluminate to meet online with a just one or two folks - in a more private setting? Again, Steve (and LearnCentral) has a solution. If you join LearnCentral (free), you can use their vRoom feature to host a private Elluminate meeting with one or two others. Think collaborative teaching, online tutoring or virtual parent conferences. (some vRoom stories).

We have been using GotoMeeting's online meeting service for a number of years now - and paying around $50 a month for the privallege. While GotoMeeting lies somewhere between the "open to all - free" model and the "private - one or two participant" vRoom model, it is good to know that there are other options out there.

Thanks Steve and keep up the good work!