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I am leading a free web development study group and we need some way to meet online in some kind of virtual classroom.

Do you know if any free service exists that has these characteristics:

  • Free or very cheap.
  • Desktop sharing with a group of around 10 people.
  • Change what participant is showing his screen. (This is very important)
  • It would be nice if we could record our sessions.
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We use DimDim (http://www.dimdim.com) for this at work and with several organizations I belong to. It's an open source (free of cost) option for web meetings that allows you to share your screen, do VOIP and choose presenters. I don't think it lets you do recordings yet - but you can use Skype for that if you want.

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Team Viewer

Meetings, teamwork, trainings, sales and presentations TeamViewer

helps you collaborate on documents online, present documents or products over the Internet, and give sales talks or online training with multiple participants, and much more. There are countless ways how sharing your desktop with another person can make life easier. Teamwork over the Internet = TeamViewer

Some Main Functionalities

  • Recording of remote maintenance sessions as video for verification purposes
  • Configurable invitation mail with which you can invite your connection partner
  • Change of direction – simply reverse the viewing direction during the ongoing session
  • Simple management of your connection partners via partner list and simple 1-click connection
  • Viewing presentations / training sessions in the browser without installing software (pure HTML and Flash) – with several participants
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Beam Your Screen seems to have what you need:

  • Change presenters: Each participant can also become presenter and show their PC screen to all the other participants. The presenter can be changed with just one mouse click.
  • Recording and Playback: Using the recording feature, you can make a video of your BeamYourScreen sessions for documentation purposes or for reviewing them at later stages. Our BeamYourScreen session player can be used to play back the recordings, which are recorded and saved in a proprietary format. As part of our service, we supply the BeamYourScreen session player which is available for downloading from the Resources section within this website.
  • List of all features: Here.
  • Pricing: Here.
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If you are all using Windows, the free Microsoft SharedView will do the trick. One person (in your case the teacher) starts a session and invites others to join. Anybody can then share either their whole screen or just specific windows. It has built-in chat for communicating between participants, and can selectively allow remote control.

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