Even though there are less logisical requirements for remote workshops than for thise in -person, coordinating activities such as pre-installation workshops, getting everyone online and in their groups, making sure participants are familiar with the conferencing software and being available to support if they have questions can still be challenging. It is important to make sure that before your workshop starts, your organising team, and where possible your coaches, have had chance to use your chosen conferencing and team chat software and are familiar with the features you will be using. This will help you iron out any potential issues and make sure everyone knows what they're doing on the day.
Here is a list of some conferencing software that you may wish to use for your workshop. This list is not exhaustive and you are welcome to use whichever tools work best for you and your circumstances.
- Zoom (paid)
- Microsoft Teams - free through Django Girls!
- Google Hangouts
- Cisco Webex (paid)
- Google Meet
- Zoho Meetings (paid)
- Hopin (paid)
We can now offer Teams access to Django Girls workshop organisers for free. Each workshop can request a Microsoft Business Basic account by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a limited number of free accounts, which means priority will be given to workshops in developing countries, and once your workshop has finished you will lose access so that this can be granted to another workshop to use.
Our free Business Basic account allows you to use Teams with the following features:
- Online meetings video/calling for up to 300 participants
- Maximum meeting duration of 24 hours
- Screen sharing
- Customized backgrounds
- Meeting recordings
- Chat and collaboration
Paid for applications also offer free versions with limited features and free trials of paid for versions. Depending on your requirements, you may be able to host your workshop using a free or trial version, or you may be able to cover the cost of a subscription with sponsorship.
You will also need to consider which features you need from your software in order to host your workshops. For example, some applications, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams allow you to to have chat rooms and also breakout rooms. Breakout rooms are especially useful in dividing participants into much smaller groups that allow them to interact, for example, when working in groups of two or three with a coach. You may also want to ensure that all participants have the option to share their screen. This is especially useful when participants run into problems with their code, allowing their coach to view their screens will enable them to walk the participant through debugging, or help them identify if any steps have been missed. A text chat feature may also be beneficial.
Team Chat Software
Here is a list of some team chat software that you may wish to use alongside your conferencing software for your workshop. This can be especially useful if your conferencing software does not also have an inbuild chat feature. You may use team chat as your first point of call for the workshop. It can be the place to provide information and instructions on joining video calls, as well as a text chat function for coaches and their participants.
- Google Hangouts