Distance learning classroom/blackboard software?
August 12, 2014 4:11 PM   Subscribe

What kind of software (client side or server side) exists for simple distance learning? In other words, two or three people are online with headsets or webcams and there is a canvas area where we can place images, write, and draw freehand as we talk.

This would just be for garden-variety tutoring with a maximum of 1 or 2 people besides myself. However it would be important that no one could enter the virtual classroom unless they're specifically invited, and a no-fuss canvas/blackboard is definitely required.

This can be headset only or headset+webcam, it doesn't matter.

I would search but I don't even have any idea what this kind of software is called.
posted by crapmatic to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can do this on Google Hangouts. I believe there's a built-in whiteboard in Hangouts, and you can also use a google doc (or google drawing sheet) and share that. There are also third party apps that connect to Hangouts like Web Whiteboard (no endorsement of that one).
posted by brainmouse at 4:19 PM on August 12, 2014

I've done this with Adobe Connect, through an institutional account, but I believe they sell to individuals & small orgs, too. It's entirely web-based, and they also have support for mobile devices.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 4:33 PM on August 12, 2014

Yup, google hangout. Built in whiteboard and screen sharing among other things.
posted by idb at 4:43 PM on August 12, 2014

nthing Hangouts for this.
posted by Gotanda at 8:17 AM on August 13, 2014

I think a keyword you want for searching is "online whiteboard", and then you just pick what seems the best fit for you.

I've been pretty happy with Scribblar for tutoring (it has some math-specific perks like LaTeX support and Wolfram Alpha stuff built in). You can use a free account for tutoring just one person at a time, but you would need one of the paid plans to have 3 or more users on at one time. There is a whiteboard and a chat area, and you can also use audio and upload documents for sharing. On the paid plans, you can password protect your rooms and kick people out if necessary, plus have persistent whiteboard contents (users with the password can go back and look at/modify it later if you want).
posted by ktkt at 10:54 PM on August 13, 2014

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