Video Conferencing is Effective, and Easy to Use! Let's get started!
Many of our recent contacts with students and parents have been via video conferencing, using Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime, which are available free to both PC and MAC users. If you haven't tried one of these amazing tools, you are missing out on a great way to keep up with friends and family. Plus, video conferencing is a great way to do business.
Students love video conferencing since it fits in nicely with their busy schedules, and the time they save by using video conferencing, versus driving to a meeting, is important to them. Video conferencing also meets their desire to "go green", as it saves gas, too.
Parents like it because it is efficient and allows them to connect with BrenMar on short notice, especially during the college acceptance season. Plus, in the case of emergencies, such as when a student is away at school but wants information and counseling regarding transferring, a video call is perfect.
BrenMar insures that expectations are met by scheduling a brief video test call prior to the initial appointment. At this point a determination is made as to if a video conference will meet the needs of this student and family. So far it has been all systems go!
Video conferencing is simple to do - here is what you need to get started:
- For smooth audio and video you will need at least a 1 GHZ computer. You can check this out using the control panel on a PC (click on the system icon, select the general tab) or on a MAC, click on the Apple Icon and select “about this Mac".
- Check your internet speed by going to www.SpeedTest.net. The faster you test out, the better. If you get between 128 to 500 kbps you’ll get reasonable, but not ideal video quality; anything over 500kbps and you will have video quality that rivals standard television.
- You will need a webcam with VGA (Video Graphics Array). If your computer has a built-in webcam you are probably all set. If you do not have a webcam, or yours is fuzzy at speeds over 500 kbps, you can find one at your local electronics store or on-line for as little as $30. Try www.amazon.com to check these out.
- PC and MAC users can get SKYPE by going on line to www.skype.com for their free download.
- Google Hangouts requires a Google account (free) and is a cinch to use.
- MAC, IPad and IPhone users have FaceTime as part of their service.
Soon you will be meeting and chatting with others from the comfort of your homes and dorm rooms as part of your everyday lives!
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