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 is an Instructional Technology Consultant at the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency in Berrien Springs, MI. Her main focus is on distance learning via videoconferencing and online learning. She also trains teachers in technology integration in the classroom and maintains the SouthwestNet Distance Learning web site. Janine is a past President of TWICE, a Michigan K12 videoconferencing organization, and maintains the TWICE website. She is also the TWICE Read Around the Planet Verification Coordinator for 2007. She also writes a regular column for the MACUL newsletter and was a member of the MACUL board of directors 2001-2003.
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