- register for a group class by emailing email@example.com
- I will use your email to invite you to the group/channel where the class will be held
- the email that you get should include instructions for setting up your account
- you will need a computer with a webcam and microphone. most laptops have them included
I have found some measure of success with the following platforms and software. I am currently experimenting with several of them to see what the maximum number of users at a given time is. So far, meet.google.com seems to be the best platform for multiple simultaneous users. Google uses this platform for its own employees and claims you can have up to 150 simultaneous users!
- Meet.Google.Com - this is "enterprise" software and only available to GSuite users. I have a Gsuite account (sweetmusicstudio.net) and so I can set up and use the service for my studio. I haven't tested it for more than 1 user at a time. I plan to test it on Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm. If you would like to join the group, I need your email address to invite you to the channel
- Matrix/Riot - this is opensource software that appears to run in the browser as well as a desktop version you can download and install on your computer. Both seem to work equally well. I haven't tested it with more than 1 person at a time yet.
- YouTube LIVE - for performances and lectures, this works very well. Interaction is by chat/comment only. It's free for anyone to use, you need a Gmail account to comment, and an invitation link (if the originator wants the group to be private). I have used this a lot over the years. It's very powerful and the quality is very high.
- Slack.com - like Matrix/Riot, Slack is a platform that is available in the browser, or as a desktop app. It's a very robust service, akin to meet.google.com, but free to anyone with an invitation. When I was volunteering for Andrew Yang's campaign, it was used for announcements, discussions, meetups and other communications. It's very powerful and works with various apps like Google Docs, etc. I like it a lot and currently use it with all of my students.
- Zoom - UPDATE: this is a strong program that UMass and a few other colleges use to teach online classes. You should be aware of what it does when you install it Read this article: https://protonmail.com/blog/zoom-privacy-issues/. A recent article stated that Zoom has disabled the code that reported your data to Facebook, which is promising.
- Skype.com - like Zoom, Skype is not very safe. The company is owned by Facebook and they regularly harvest data like video, voice, text, phone numbers, contact information and biographical info. Because it's owned by Facebook, they connect users to their database and can put together a complete database on users. They regularly share information with law enforcement and otherwise sell parts of your data. My advice is to not use it.