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Chat Rooms, Live Chats and Virtual Classrooms
Built-in video conferencing is a useful tool that can suit a variety of needs. It can handle an unlimited number of users, and includes features like text chat and multiple video/audio connections. The terms people use to describe this tool can vary, so let's describe some common scenarios below.
A text based chat room is available for students and instructors to communicate casually and freely with each other at any time. When an instructor launches a video conference, students can continue to chat and communicate with the instructor via the text chat interface.
When an instructor launches a live video conference we refer to it as a “live chat.” In this format an instructor can call on students when they have a question. At that moment the student gets a prompt asking them to choose to connect via video/audio or just audio. The student can end their broadcast or the instructor can dismiss them at any time. Currently video conferencing supports up to five active connections with an unlimited number of observers.
With video conferencing instructors can also hold traditional classroom lectures, or a “virtual classroom.” The tools are no different than a live chat, the format of the live video conference is just entirely up to the instructor and what best suits their teaching style.