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Screen Sharing – Taking Advantage of a New Tool

Communication technology is constantly evolving. We used to write letters, until we started making phone calls. Now, when we’re far from home, we ditch the phone call and set up a video stream for that added realism. And in this same way, screen sharing is being adopted as another way to create more realistic interactions.

What is screen sharing?

In some ways screen sharing is similar to a video call, but instead of showing your camera you show all or part of your computer screen. This gives the effect of your participants being ‘virtually’ over your shoulder, watching as you use an app or website. They can see you click on different windows, fill in forms, or cycle through images. There are lots of uses…

How Does Screen Sharing Work?

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Screen sharing utilises WebRTC technology, and works via your internet browser (usually Google Chrome). This means there’s no need to install hefty software or buy any equipment.

When screen sharing, you choose whether to share your entire screen, or a single application (such as Microsoft Word). Screen sharing is most frequently used as part of an online meeting service. This is a web application that places each participant into virtual online meeting room. From here, you can control when you share your screen, and who you share it with. These solutions often offer additional features such as video calling and file sharing. This allows users to collaborate in lots of ways all in one place.

Screen sharing has so many uses, we’ve listed just a couple of examples below.

Present – Anything.

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Time flies quickly, and nowadays a powerpoint presentation in a real-life meeting room seems almost traditional. Ofcourse, face-to-face presentations will always be important, but with modern communication tools like screen sharing we can all visit the same website link and share multiple presentations that were created using multiple softwares. There’s no need to download files to a USB stick and travel 30 miles to a meeting. With screen sharing there’s very little restriction to what you can ‘present’. If it’s a new website design that’s been put together on photoshop, you can share it. If it’s a traditional word document, you can share that too.

Give/Receive Technical Help

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How many times has technology caused you frustration? With all the world’s software applications and websites, sometimes we feel swamped by technology. We often get stuck and simply can’t make something work. Maybe our settings aren’t configured the way they should be, or maybe we’ve input the wrong formula on a spreadsheet. With screen sharing, friends, colleagues or even specialist support staff can solve problems much more easily by helping you ‘on-screen’. Being able to see what you’re doing on your computer, and where you’re going wrong, can significantly speed things up. There’s a reason why some of the biggest companies like Google are using screen sharing for customer support. Next time your grandmother can’t work out how to get her photos from her camera to her laptop, try a screen sharing session to show her where she’s going wrong.

Teach and Learn

Tools like screen sharing are even used by tutors, sports instructors and academics. They free-up many professionals who would otherwise be tied down by location. More people are deciding to use their teaching skills by working remotely via the internet. There are now guitar teachers who teach using video calling and share song tabs on their screens. Parents can hire the best maths tutors from around the world, who teach children using their computers screens as whiteboards. Imagine an athlete on a training camp in a different country – the personal trainer can run through meal plans and sports activity data without having to leave their office, let alone their country! The uses of screen sharing are really only limited by the imagination.

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