Day 17: Sharing Your Computer Screen: Potential Challenges

If you’re new to videoconference projects, you’re bound to run into a problem seeing or sharing a computer screen sometime soon. Here’s the situation and what to do about it.

H.239 / Duo Video / People Plus Content

Many of the manufacturers offer a feature that allows you to share your computer and your faces at the same time. This feature is great when you’re connecting to people on your network. It’s ideal for full length shared courses; making direct instruction better.

However, when you want to use this feature with another class from somewhere “out there” off your network, it’s a different story. There are several scenarios where it won’t work:

  • If the other school’s equipment doesn’t support H.239 (a lot of old units out there still)
  • If the other school’s equipment has the H.239 featured turned off
  • If the other school’s firewall blocks H.239
  • If the other school connects through a bridge and the bridge has it turned off
  • The bridge you connect through and the bridge your partner class connects through can’t pass H.239 between each other

So now, you realize that the chances of it working in a collaboration with a school off your network is really high! And now you know what can cause it.

What to Do

Either you will be the one trying to share the computer; or your partner class might try to share the computer… and poof, it doesn’t work. What do you do?

Forget the wires! My favorite solution is just that. Don’t connect it.

ZOOM!!! You can just set the laptop on a table; zoom the camera in; set a preset.


By the way, this solution is at least 4 years old and not my original idea. Complements of Joan Roehre, Kenosha, WI.

Your Turn

Have you thought of any other interesting creative solutions to problems in a videoconference? Please share!


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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