I rarely if ever endorse a product, but I am finding a number of us switching to Zoom from Skype for video chats. I don’t know why, but the quality of the experience, in terms of both clarity of the video feed and vastly fewer glitches and freeze-ups, is much better with Zoom. You can have many people in a single chat, and can sort people into “breakout” groups, and then back into the larger group, quite easily. Screen sharing is also easy, as are sending out invitations and access for others to join the meetings.
Zoom is free for the casual users. The only reason I went to a paid subscription (which I think is only about $15/month), is that free users are limited to meetings lasting less than 40 minutes, which is plenty for most educators. I have meetings with my clients and colleagues that last longer, so now I have my own video link, and frequent users are getting very comfortable with clicking in to “Grant’s zoom”.
Frequent collaboration that can be both deep and rich is one of the keys to innovation in any organization, and for us as individuals. Shifting from phone to video and virtual collaboration is not only a better way to connect and collaborate, it is an inevitable hallmark of the future, so get comfortable with the evolving technology!