8 Videoconferencing Sites in Education

The long-awaited e-learning revolution will perhaps be the one: the generalization of on-line school support services, live, via webcams and whiteboards.

As we know, the home-based tutoring market has exploded in recent years, supported by the Borloo Plan of 2005, which offers individuals a 50% tax rebate on the amounts invested in home care services. The market is estimated at 2.4 billion euros turnover, the majority of which is undeclared.

With the advent of broadband, and the improvement of video technologies on the net, it was only natural to imagine linking pupils and remote tutors, which saves everyone from travel costs and offers flexibility of appreciable use, the student being able to connect when and where he wishes. As a result, videoconferencing courses are increasing in France, with the objective of rapidly gaining a foothold in this market. Here are the main actors to date:

ezTalks: This is an innovative video conferencing site in education. It offers a complete video conferencing solutions for eLearning and online education and virtual training. The software ezTalks Meetings offers an opportunity for up to 100 people to join online courses at the same time, without costing anything. If you need more students to attend the course simultaneously, come to the paid version of ezTalks Meetings, which provides up to 500 participants.

Teacheo: Latest born, it is perhaps one of the most technologically successful, if one believes the video demonstration. The whiteboard includes a lot of tools, and allows you to easily share exercises, write equations, share reusable course materials, and integrate services like Google Map or YouTube. Registration for the service is free of charge for the pupils, who only pay the price of the session, fixed by each teacher. The service is paid by paying a monthly subscription (9.90 euros) to the professors.

Educastream: Courses in mathematics and English. Packages, courses or courses à la carte, from primary to high school, and also courses for adults. Rates can range from 18 to 30 euros per hour depending on the material and the chosen formula. Unlike Teacheo, the platform does not allow professors to offer their services, they are recruited outside the platform.

Prof Express: Same principle as Educastream, with a more positioned service helps punctual homework and revision. A whiteboard rather technologically completed as shown in the video that follows. The subjects offered are maths, French and English. The tariff is 14 euros the session of 20 minutes, decreasing if you buy several sessions.

Wengo: Wengo is a platform for linking “experts” of all fields with individuals. The teaching section allows you to contact professors of all subjects. The price is set by the teachers. The connection is made by the Wengophone telephony software (one of best alternativesto Skype) which a priori does not include a whiteboard.

PortailProf: This site does not use a priori proprietary technology. The exchange between teachers and students is done the classic services of instant messaging (MSN messenger, Skype, Yahoo messenger …). PortalProf connects tutors and pupils for many subjects (Sciences, economics, literature, etc …). The entrance fee for individuals is € 9.90, payable when the course is effective. The professor pays an administrative fee to establish a fruitful relationship (10% of the course price).

AcadomiaOnline: This service from Acadomia actually uses the technology and the Wengo portal mentioned above. 4 subjects are concerned: Mathematics, Physics-Chemistry, French, English, for high school and college levels. The payment is based on the recharge of an Acadomia card, in increments of 5 minutes.

Webcam-Profs: 3 types of services: private lessons, group lessons (from 2 to 4 people), live study room. Billing is per minute. For the rest, the site is rather opaque, if not this video of the founder: