I'd like to know if people use synchronous (real-time) web conferencing to collaborate on global education initiatives? What have been the successes and pitfalls of using virtual classroom software?

Our schools use Elluminate Live! for instruction and group meetings, but not YET for global collaborations. Love to learn from your experiences.

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I am the Educational Technology Coordinator for Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. We are just getting started in video conferencing and global projects. In January, we used Skype to video conference with a graduate who is currently in El Salvador. She is in the middle of working on community revitalization after a devastating flood. She and some of our students (led by her brother, a current student) are coordinating relief efforts (food and medicine). Skype was immensely easy to set up from an IT standpoint. The medium was effective in that video and audio was clear. Skype is free and used globally so we have great hope to expand our use of it. A blog is also being used as the support mechanism for asynchronous communication.

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