We’d like to help you continue your group folding fun by sharing a few online video conferencing options. Below are some FREE ways to get started.
If you wish to share your meetings publicly with the wider origami community to join, please visit our community calendar page to add the details.
In general, you should be careful with how you share links for any videoconferences you set up; there are more and more examples out there of people gate-crashing (and worse) publicly accessible videoconference links (see, for example, zoombombing). For meetings shared on the OrigamiUSA Calendar, ONLY people logged into the OrigamiUSA.org site will be able to see the videoconferencing link for each event.
Zoom has quickly become one of the most popular ways of setting up videoconferencing since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and it is used by many academic institutions for online instruction, including Caltech, MIT, and many more. However, it has recently been in the news for some security lapses, so be forewarned. This comprehensive article covers Zoom's issues and closes with some best practices for using Zoom.
Despite all that, OrigamiUSA has been using Zoom successfully for its Origami Connect online classes and has set up a Zoom account that anyone can reserve and use for virtual meetings—you don't need to be a member of OrigamiUSA (or even in the USA). It will provide you with up to 3 free hours of uninterrupted time for your meeting (as opposed to the individual free accounts that turns off after 40 minutes).
Already Have a Google Account
Visit https://calendar.google.com/. When you create an event date, select “Location or conferencing”; and then “conferencing”. The word will change to “Hangouts” and will also be the video link that you can share with others.
New to Google?
Visit https://hangouts.google.com and follow their steps for creating and inviting others (you will need a Google account but guests will not). It will give you an option to copy a video link that you can share with your local group or the wider origami community (visit our community calendar to share with others).
Skype is one of the earlier videoconferencing systems. Since being taken over by Microsoft, it continues to provide a solution, though it's less popular than it used to be now that other services have come along. Skype recently came out with a new simpler system, "Meet Now," which lets you set up a meeting with a single click; see below.
Getting Started with Skype
Skype's "Meet Now" allows you to create a free meeting with a single click. Click on the link on that page, and it will create a conference link that you can share with your local group (or post on the OrigamiUSA Calendar). The meeting link lasts for 30 days, so you can create the link well in advance of the meeting. Further details are here.
Jitsi.org is a distributed, free, and open-source alternative to commercial videoconferencing systems like Zoom, Hangouts, and the like. You can start a meeting instantly, here, then get a link you can share with your attendees.
Other Video Calling Options
There are MANY options online. If you wish to dig deeper, here’s a great place to start.