Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Big Marker Video Conferencing for Nursing Education

Last June I searched web-conferencing sites for my STTI Region Coordinator and I came upon the BigMarker.com site. BigMarker.com is a videoconferencing site where the user can collaborate with others and provide community hosting. The application is cloud-based so users do not have to download software or install updates. What intrigued me was what the site offered for FREE and/or low cost. A free membership offers unlimited public video conferencing with up to 50 person Conference Rooms | 3 Hosts to start + 1 for every 50 members, unlimited members in your community, 8GB file storage, discussion boards, and a community calendar. Click Here to see the other pricing options that range from $9-$99 for their “Pro Communities.” The major difference between Pro Community from the Free Community membership is that one can offer both public and private conferences in addition to other amenities.
For those of you familiar with BigMarker.com on 6/22/12 the site revealed new updates to the site including a conference room with the following features: easier navigation in the conference room, an optimized audio system, microphone optional, able to listen in via android mobile devices, and more.
View the "How to Use BigMarker.com" YouTube video below to see how their conference room works:

I decided the best way to try the site was to host a webinar by creating a free community membership. I found setting up a conference easy to accomplish.
The feedback I received from participants related to the platform was positive. One participant reported some feedback with the audio on her end. I was using a headset to deliver the presentation.  I did report this issue to Big Marker Support. I was informed that the conference room was meant to work without a headset. I am planning to give another short webinar on the Big Marker site, September 26, at 7:00 PM ET on Success Tips for Nurses Considering Online College. This time I will not use a headset and hopefully the audio reception will be improved!
While experimenting with the site I found that I was able to open and use this application in the hospital setting which I found to be a pleasant surprise considering the firewall and video blockers. The low price for private video conferencing makes this an attractive offer and application for hospital and system-wide group projects.