Don’t professors and teachers just seem to love dishing out group projects? They don’t just want students to learn, they want to see how they work together as a team.

They want to see how students negotiate through difficulties, like the team members who don’t do their part. (There is always one of those!) They want to see if five different people can all meet the same deadline.

Or maybe the university group project is just a special form of scholastic torture?

Luckily, there is a convenient Cloud technology called web conferencing that exists to make group school projects easy.

And painless!

It will help you get way higher marks without doing any more work—and with much less work, in fact. There is nothing to buy and nothing to download, because the whole system is in the Cloud, waiting for you when you need it. It’s totally free.

A “web conference” is just a Video Conference Call, with a Shared Desktop added. All you need is your laptop and your phone.

Saving time on group school projects

What if you need to meet and it’s snowing? What if you live on the other side of town? No problem. The big breakthrough of using Free Web Conferencing is that it saves you from having to get together in the same room.

Freedom!

Using the Mobile Conference Call App, you can join the meeting from anywhere. You could be sick in bed, or at your grandmother’s house for dinner. Did Mummy take you to Hawaii for reading week? Nobody needs to know.

Meeting in the Cloud saves you up to an hour each of travelling for every meeting. That could be a total of 15 hours of time saved on one project for five people with three meetings. For students, 15 hours is an eternity of bonus study time.

But how do you all look at the work you are doing together at the same time, if you aren’t in the same room?

Effortless Collaboration

Web conferencing has an amazing feature called Free Screen Sharing.

You set this up in your free Personal Meeting Room. Now you are all sharing a common desktop together. Anybody can add a document, video or picture from his or her laptops onto a common screen. Everybody can read it and talk about it.

Desktop Sharing is the ideal democracy for group school projects. It is actually better than meeting in the same room, because there is no teacher at the front of the class droning on, and controlling the one screen.

If you get inspired, you can add anything, anytime. You can even text each other while you are talking.

And if one person hasn’t done the work, everyone will know—while there is still time to deal with it. That’s one way web conferencing helps you get better marks by helping you complete group assignments.

What if someone’s rowdy roommates are partying in the background? Simple, just use the Moderator Controls to screen out the noise. Conference calls have thought of everything! Because Web Conferencing carries the audio signal over your phone, it will sound great. If you want to talk through the computer, use a headset, but your phone will always sound good.

Computers are for looking and typing. Phones are for talking.

Getting Started

To start, go online, and sign up for FreeConference.com. It’s free, and takes a minute or two to enter the team’s emails. It’s faster than setting up a Twitter account.

To set up your web meetings, take advantage of the fact that web conferencing Syncs with Google Calendar. Use Doodle to find out when everyone can meet. Then use the Call Scheduling feature to set up all your meetings, including a progress review meeting 1/2 way through, a “collection” meeting to pull in everybody’s work for editing, and a final review.

The Recurring Calls feature helps you set these up literally in a few minutes, and the automatic Invitations and Reminders will make sure everybody remembers and shows up.

Acing your group school project

Using conference call technology to ace school projects wins in so many ways. It saves time setting up project team communication. It creates a smart time management framework that helps you meet deadlines and avoid disasters. It saves travel time to meetings, and maybe bus fare.

They say school is about learning how to learn.

Using web conferencing to make group school projects easy is a great résumé “stocking stuffer” to carry forward, because so many businesses are using Web Meetings now.

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