Nothing better describes Gather.town better than their tag line, "building a better way to meet online". Gather.town is a video chat tool that attempts to bring back human interactions into the process. How do they do this?
Building a better way to meet online.
Gather.town allows you to create a virtual environment and create an avatar that can walk around this environment. You can then have other people join and when you walk up to them your video and mic will automatically turn, allowing you to talk to them. These rooms can have private rooms that allow multiple groups of people to have meetings, talk, and interact. To end the meeting you just leave the room. It is like Zoom, but with more human ways of interacting. Don't believe us? Check out the example below.
<aside> ℹ️ Here Josh walks into Drew's private cubicle. Notice as he walks up the camera and mic come on. Only the two of us hear each other and can see what we are doing.
As you can imagine there are several different ways you can use Gather.town. You could use it to create a virtual classroom to have live sessions, a virtual office to hold office hours, or a virtual study room for students to freely enter to collaborate and study together in. Some people have even held fully virtual conferences through Gather.town.
In Gather.town you can video call, chat, share your screen, collaborate on a whiteboard, and even set up different tables for your students to do all of this at. Imagine, in Gather.town you can lecture then have your students break up into groups just by going to tables that you pre-designated for them. All you need to do is tell them to walk to the tables and at those virtual tables they can video chat, share screens, and share documents. You can do all of that without ever having to designate breakout rooms.
To get started with this tool simply go to gather.town/get-started. Here it will ask you what type of environment you want to set up and then you can select from one of their many great environment templates.
Once you get your little room set up all you need to do is share an invite link with anyone you want to join. They can set up an account and jump in within minutes. Once you do all of this we encourage you and your students to check out the Gather Basics Guide. It will show you how to use the basic tools in Gather.town.