9 April, 2020 | Written by: Mark Wakefield
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In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak IBM and Cisco have joined forces to support teachers and operational staff in schools, charity workers and people working in care homes and healthcare including GPs.
All these people across the UK have the opportunity to secure free access to video conferencing through use of the Cisco Webex web conferencing tool. The technology offers simple and intuitive features for online collaboration.
To help new users get started IBM and Cisco employees are volunteering their time to help install the video-conferencing technology and provide guidance to maximise use of the tools.
CISCO Webex allows students to continue attending classes in today’s exceptional circumstances by holding lessons in a virtual classroom. It can also help manage the operational running of a school which includes senior leadership team meetings, reviews of GCSE and A Levels grading, school governor meetings and lesson planning for job share teachers.
It will help staff and volunteers within the charity industry co-ordinate their efforts, plan events and deliver many of the activities they might otherwise have conducted in person. We have seen a wide variety of community groups and charities sign up for the service so far, including Rainbow, Guide and Scout groups using it to host weekly meetings, virtual youth clubs, career guidance meetings and much more.
For healthcare professionals within hospitals, general practice or in care homes, Webex can enhance communication in many ways which include helping clinical or operational staff connect and collaborate for meetings or with patients where ever they may be.
With Webex you can:
- Start remote video conferences and invite people into the session.
- Participate in sessions in guest mode, without the need for a user account.
- As the host have audio control with the ability to mute and unmute everyone in the virtual room.
- Share the screens of any participant to enable the sharing of videos, applications or documents.
- Record sessions and send to people who were unable to attend.
To use Webex you will need access to the Internet and a device such as PC, tablet or Smartphone. The most common operating systems are compatible (Mac OS, Windows, iOS, Android). The devices must be able to use the microphone and, for a better experience, the video camera.
How to sign up:
If you would like to request support from an IBM or Cisco volunteer for advice on getting started and making the most of the tool, please register through the following form: https://ibm.biz/ukcovidhelpform
In the meantime you can sign up for a Webex account here: https://cart.webex.com/sign-up.
Other resources to help:
While waiting for a volunteer to contact you, below are resources that introduce Webex and remote working & learning:
Video Overview of Webex meetings
Webex Meetings QuickStart Guide for Teachers and Charities.
IBM Remote Learning Enablement Guide for Teachers, Parents and Students
Video tutorials on how to use Webex Meetings
The Cisco Webex platform has more than 130 million monthly users worldwide, and processes more than 6 billion minutes of meetings every month. Always accessible through an internet connection, it guarantees the privacy and security of the data and content exchanged in the sessions using advanced security and encryption tools.