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When the pandemic hit the world, a lot of people have been confined at home. For security and health purposes, governments have imposed protocols to protect the people's lives. One of those protocols is not allowing mass gatherings and meetings. But we just don't want the global pandemic to hinder our interpersonal relationship, so most people from the business sector, government sector, education sector and even between friends and families have resorted to using various videoconferencing apps.
There are a handful of videoconferencing apps used worldwide depending on people's preferences. Some of which I've tried using are zoom, skype and googlemeet.
Zoom. Zoom is one of the most popular teleconferencing app used nowadays. It can be used both on desktop and mobile. On your first time of creating an account and using this tool for free you'll get unlimited time to host a video conference but after that, each meeting will only last for 40 minutes and you can invite as much as 100 participants. But if you are willing to pay the amount of $15 per month, you'll get longer meetings and other features. We've been using this application for our online religious meetings and I can say that it is indeed a good application and what's good is that you can download and use this for free! However, I tried tracking the data that I use for zoom and since this requires data both for upload, which is to broadcast and show ourselves to others and download, for us to see other's videos but consumes high data. 2 hours of Zoom meeting consumes more than 1 gigabyte of data. And this app is also not advisable to use if you have slow and unstable internet connection.
One of our Zoom meetings.
Google Meet. This is the application that we prefer to use during our Sign Language meetings. We prefer to use this since the app is great and the videos doesn't get laggy even when the internet connection becomes unstable. It also provides option to share what's on your screen without leaving the call. And if you are using your mobile phone, you can still make another call on Facebook Messenger even if you are on google meet video call. You can also chat and send a message to everyone connected on the current video call. And another good feature of this app is the live captions that works not just in English, it can also detect other languages and show the captions real time.
Videoconferencing via google meet. I used my mobile phone.
These are the two main apps that I personally prefer to use but there are other videoconferencing tools out there that people use.
Skype. Some individuals and businesses still prefer using skype for their meeting. What's good about this is that you can make a call or video calls even without joining a meeting or even without someone to host a meeting. But this is not advisable for a big audience since it can only accommodate up to 50 participants and videos tends to get very laggy and it automatically drops the call when the internet connection is unstable.
FaceTime. FaceTime is another video conferencing tool that you can only find on iPhones though you can also use this on Mac computers. The maximum participants on a video conference is only 30 so it is also not advisable for a large group of participants in a meeting and not all can afford an iPhone! I personally haven't tried using FaceTime since I don't own an iPhone.
What I mentioned in this article are just few of the many videoconferencing tools that people use. Whatever video conferencing tool you may be using always remember these etiquettes when on a video conference:
You may be communicating with other people virtually but always be courteous to other participants.
Wear appropriate clothes. Even though you are just at home, and attending a meeting virtually, you can still dress up, wear nice clothes and make-ups to look presentable. If you are a girl or a woman, putting on a lipstick is good because you won't look pale on camera.
Don't move too much while your camera is on. Don't make unnecessary movements because it can distract other participants.
Always put your microphone on mute if you are not speaking. You won't want other participants to hear your family members arguing, your dogs barking or perhaps the loud music coming from your neighbors house who thinks that he owns the entire street for that super loud music.
Speak clearly. Make your voice a little bit louder (but don't shout), so that other participants will clearly hear and understand what you're saying.
Stay on a place with a clean background so that other participants won't see your housemates and your pets going back and forth behind you. You can sit with a curtain or a wall behind.
Don't put the camera near your face where other participants can clearly see your pores, pimples and nostrils because it can be very distracting.
In the Philippines, schools will start on October 5th. The children will be having blended learning through modules, listening to the radio programs and live videos on facebook. So in preparation for this, parents and teachers had a meeting last week via Zoom. My mom attended the meeting but she's not a tech savvy person so she asked me to be there and set up the zoom application. I was there the whole time while their meeting is ongoing, I am used to attending videoconferences so I was very particular with the bloopers which I think is very funny so I listed them and posted it on my social media stories just for fun.
I've written this based on personal experiences so please pardon me if there is something that might be offending
How about you? Which videoconferencing tool have you tried? Or do you have any experience using a videoconferencing app? Share you experiences on the comment box below!