Screen-sharing made easy

Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to explain to someone over the phone what you are seeing on your computer? Or trying to explain to them what they should be seeing on theirs? I’ve come across a neat little application which enables you to share your screen with anyone you like – and without installing anything, downloading anything or even paying a penny!

Enter Screenleap. You go to the website, click on a huge button reading “Share your screen now!”, and the next thing you know you have a rectangle and a URL. Give the URL to anyone you wish to share your screen with, and then you can share your entire screen, or just a section inside the rectangle – and you can resize the rectangle to show more or less of the screen, and you can move it around too.

Share your screen effortlessly, and for free!You can see when people are watching your screen, but you can’t tell who. So, if you share your screen with 4 people and only 3 are watching it, you won’t have a clue who sloped off when they thought you weren’t looking.

With three trusted helpers, I tried Screenleap out, and we communicated our findings over Twitter, although as one of my “research team”, Danny Nicholson, said, it would be useful to have audio if you were going to demo something. That’s right, of course, so I suppose you would have to use the phone or Skype for that aspect. One of the things I did was to demonstrate how to create a table or a shape in Word. One person said it was slightly pixellated, but another said it was very clear, so maybe that partly depends on what device you’re using yourself.

My immense thanks goes to the following people, who gave up a big chunk of Twitter-stream catching-up time to help me check this out:

  • Doughall McCormick. Doughall is an ICT consultant in the north of England, is on the Naace Board of Management, and a big name in Teachmeet circles. He writes engagingly, and thought-provokingly, about ICT in his blog “In a roundabout way”.
  • Danny Nicholson. Danny is another ICT consultant, and has an incredibly useful blog about using, and getting the best out of, interactive whiteboards. It’s called, er, The Whiteboard Blog. Funnily enough, I’ve just noticed that his latest blog post is about screen-sharing for iPads.
  • Matt Pearson. Matt also works in the educational ICT industry, and knows all about SmartBoards. I worry about Matt though. He rants and raves a bit on his brilliant blog, which is called Education, Teaching, Technology. One of these days he’ll blow a gasket, whatever that is. But seriously, his articles are beautifully written, well-argued and, as often as not, hilarious.

Please do take the time to check them out. If you know anything about me, you will know that I tend not to ask random people for their opinions. I almost invariably “target” those whose integrity, honesty, and willingness to tell-it-how-it-is are clear.

Finally, thanks to Phil Bradley. He’s is an information specialist and Internet Consultant. His blog is great for sharing new websites and software, and also for exposing some incredibly ludicrous things too. For example, check out - Microsoft's new social network! He has a great Web 2.0 blog, which is where I discovered his Screenleap article.

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