How to Select the Technology for Your Support Group
(This page is referenced from Start
a Virtual Support Group to Help With Stresses of COVID-19.)
To ensure that the virus does not spread among you, it is important that your
support group meets virtually. There has been an explosion of tools to help
people to meet virtually, for example, Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Skype, Google Hangouts,
Microsoft Teams, Facetime and What’s App.
You Don’t Need Many Features
However, you do not need many of the features that they provide, such as chat
rooms, screen sharing, messaging, polling and white boarding. Many groups have
met just by using telephones in order to ensure they can reliably hear each
other. Other groups prefer some video where they can at least see each other’s
For Telephone Meetings Only
We recommend the FreeConferenceCall
service for phone-based group meetings. You just start an account with them,
and they send you brief connection information that you use in your conference
calls. The conferencing is free, but you pay according to your regular phone
service. We are not formally affiliated with this service, but we have reliably
used it many times over the years.
For Audio and Video Meetings
Many people who prefer to see each other during virtual meetings often use
the free Skype software.
You can use it for free audio communications, as well. Here’s a short
video about how to use it. We are not formally affiliated with this service,
but have reliably used it over the years. Another popular tool is or Zoom.
What Do Your Members Prefer?
You might ask your members about what technologies that they prefer. Perhaps
one or more members could train the others about the selected technology.
Refer to These Tips to Facilitate Virtual Meetings
For tips about how to conduct communications virtually, see
for Virtual Peer Coaching Group Meetings. (Another tool How
to Facilitate Support Groups guides members through their actual support
(Photo courtesy of Edward Jenner on Pexels.com.)