Here are some tools to consider if you want to take your staff or delivery activities online and keep in touch with young people and wider staff teams.

You can use video calls, audio conference calls or live streaming to connect with your teams or young people to hold conversations and share activity ideas. It can also be a great way to manage meetings with staff or volunteers when you can’t all be in the same place.

Overview of Virtual Engagement Tools & Their Uses

We have split the tools into three areas; online meetings & training, live streaming, informal chats and others.

Online Meetings & Training

Virtual Tool Overview Features Considerations Min Age
Zoom Zoom is one of the leading video meeting & training tools. More information available here
  • Interactive sessions
  • Screen sharing
  • Video calling
  • Breakout rooms
  • In-meeting chat
  • Recording
  • Mobile app available
  • Free account available
  • 40 minute limit on group calls
  • 1 to 1 calls unlimited time
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Paid plans available to release limits and additional features
  • Join meetings using a phone number or data connection
16 years old
Microsoft Teams Host audio, video, and web calls with small or larger numbers. More information available here
  • Interactive sessions
  • Screen sharing
  • Video calling
  • Integrates with over 250 applications
  • In-meeting chat
  • Recording
  • Mobile app available
  • 1 month free trial available
  • Handle large numbers up to 500,000 participants
  • Real-time collaboration with Office
  • Team and personal file storage included
  • No phone number to join meetings
13 years old
Go-To Meeting Primarily a meeting platform or for large webinar groups or video chat tool for friends & family. More information available here
  • Interactive sessions
  • Screen sharing
  • Video calling
  • In-meeting chat
  • Recording
  • Mobile app available
  • 14 day free trial available
  • Recording is only available on some paid plans
  • Up to 150 participants
  • Paid plans available to add features and increase limits
  • Join meetings using phone number or data connection
13 years old
Skype Free online calls, messaging, affordable international calling to mobiles or landlines. More information available here
  • Interactive sessions
  • Screen sharing
  • Video calling
  • In-meeting chat
  • Recording
  • Mobile app available
  • Free
  • Up to 50 participants
  • Call local or mobile telephones using Skype Credit or a Skype subscription
  • Join using a data connection
13 years old

Zoom meetings can be 'zoombombed' by uninvited guests. To protect meetings from this, Zoom have added passwords to all online meetings. Remember to share the meeting password so everyone can join-in, or pre-set your functions to enclose this within the link.

We advise when using any virtual meeting software for any sensitive areas of work that you ensure you take security steps to protect yourself and young people. Use passwords to protect the meeting links where possible.

Informal Chat

Virtual Tool Overview Considerations App available & Min age
Google Hangouts Casual chatting, promoting chatting between teammates, images GIFs & emoji’s 
  • It is free user friendly  
  • Used for instant messaging
  • Used for small/ medium sized groups
  • Needs a google account
  • Files can be shared
  • Not for recording

Yes

13 years

Facebook Messenger Instantly message,colleagues, friends & family. Can send text, pictures or videos
  • Its free & user friendly
  • Used for instant messaging & videoing
  • Share files, images and links
  • Make quick phone calls

Yes

13 years

Whatsapp Instant messaging,videoing, calling & group chats
  • User friendly
  • Share live location
  • Audio & visual calling
  • Imports contacts automatically
  • Smart phone required
  • Has a smart reply function 

Yes

16 years (as of May 2018)

Live Streaming

Virtual Tool Overview Considerations App available & Min age

Instagram Live 

Instagram Live is a feature on Instagram Stories that allows users to stream video’s to followers & engage with them in real time
  • Increase interactions with followers,
  • Cost-effective way to produce content,
  • Track engagement & viewer metrics, can help expand your reach to more young people
  • To have the sound on, your ringer needs to be on
  • Text cannot be added to videos
  • Film in blocks of a hour
  • As it’s a feature of Instagram stories, it disappears after 24 hours

Yes

13 years

Facebook Live  Create, broadcast & save live videos from mobile app or desktop
  • Videos can be saved as permanent posts,
  • Can download & use on other platforms,
  • Used to build engagement with current contacts
  • Involves live filming, edits can’t be made once filming starts 

Yes

13 years

Others Mobile Apps

Kahoot & Padlet, Mentimeter

Interactive tools on phones for fast paced quiz’s (Kahoot - Kahoot.it)

brainstorming & sharing ideas (Padlet),

answering anonymously (mentimeter) 

  • Highly interactive activities
  • Appeals to young people & adults
  • Engages in a non-intimidating way
  • Easy & free to use
  • Can be integrated with some tools above
  • Easy movie making
  • Smart phone needed
  • Can present differently on phones to laptop 

Session Ideas for Virtual Activity

Nationally, our locally trusted organisations have been telling us how they have been using the above tools to engage their groups during this period. These have included:

Fitness activities & challenges Informal connection & chat Volunteer meetings Mentoring & 1-2-1 outreach
Live delivery of physical activity Live training of staff & young volunteers** Quiz’s, games & entertainment  Virtual trips & tours
E-Learning for staff & young volunteers** Support coaches in content planning Mindfulness & stress relieving practices Live cooking classes

For further information about opportunities to train staff (furloughed or working) and young people during this time, please see here to access our current offer or contact training.academy@streetgames.org for information on booking internal courses.

Things to Consider/Top Tips

Do your young people have digital access / technology?  Data costs & internet connection of the household Broadband speeds for online learning & certain platforms
Have a go with the software beforehand to get a feel for what works, don’t be worried about learning as you go  Some young people may not want mass participation, consider what space is best for your group & who you are targeting & for what. Consider how you maintain momentum, or content, regularity whilst progressing content remain valuable 
Negativity & negative comments. Some young people may want to have a go in a safer space Are whatsapp groups needed for some? Work with your Young Leaders to understand what you young people want to engage with 
For more information most of the above tools have virtual guides & tutorials online  Keep it simple – use the  StreetGames ‘Rights’, right place, time, style  Meet, greet & getting chatting, icebreakers & intro activities are even more valuable
Send clear joining instructions Use your camera if possible Have clear ground rules for more interactive sessions

National partner additional really useful guidance

Activity Alliance have created some excellent guidance on how to communicate using online tools in a way that includes all. Take the time to watch this video to take up the tips - http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/get-active/at-home/adapting-activitie....

The OnSide Talent Academy presents: How to connect positively with young people online

Safeguarding Hits & Tips

For hints, tips and support to keep children, young people and staff safe when using video/chat software for running activity, please take a look here.

Want to Stay in Touch?

  • Facebook, StreetGames Network Support Page – for games, challenges, content ideas and for inspiration from across the network.
  • Instagram, Streetgamesuk – for games, challenges, content ideas and for inspiration from across the network.
  • Twitter National @StreetGames – for national updates, partnership work, funding, advice and necessities.
  • Twitter Regional @StreetGamesNor1 (NW), SGYorkshire, @StreetGamesWales, celebrating success locally, sharing and recognising delivery activity and relevant local content.

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