Give Wonder a Try: Bring Movement Into Online Meetings

Tired of Zoom Fatigue and Breakout Breakdowns? Wonder is a web-based group gathering and conferencing platform. The free-to-use website service allows video conferencing in an open room movement concept. Wonder currently supports Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Wonder allows a user to create a digital chatroom where users can move around freely with the click of a mouse and make their own “Circles”. Anyone can create a link for the room or meeting, and it will stay up 24/7, even when the host leaves. There is no download required for Wonder. Attendees can access their room from the web browser seamlessly. Circles can host up to 15 people and only the people within the circle are able to participate with that specific circle. Webcam, microphone, and screen sharing can be used throughout the room. The main room can hold up to 1500 people. 

Broadcasting

Broadcasting is used to mute all group conversations to speak to everyone at one time. This gives all participants 10 seconds to finish up their final conversations before hearing solely the main broadcast.

Text Chat Features

There is also a chat feature for people who cannot use their microphones. The chat feature will be broadcasted to everyone unless a person switches to private or circle only.

Security

Although any person with a link can join the room, each room can be password protected if needed. All guests will require a password to enter the room once a password is set.

Special Features:

Icebreakers

Wonder has the option to create icebreaker questions for all participants to answer. This allows you to ask a quick and simple question, that the guests will be prompted to answer once they enter the room.

Room Areas

The host can create up to 15 different room areas inside the main room. Participants can then join these areas and discuss within each separate room instead of freely in the main room. This creates a more defined and organized main room that is broken up into sections.

Limitations

Wonder is best designed for desktop usage, not mobile. The mobile version runs a “lite” software. Mobile users cannot access any host features from their phone or share their videos. Wonder currently does not function on tablets.

Overall

Wonder is great for group meetings with ad-hoc teams that require flexibility. It can be a versatile alternative to Zoom breakout rooms, as it allows participants to form their own groups. This is great for conferencing formats like ‘birds of a feather’. Wonder is presently free for all users. However at the end of 2021 Wonder will have usage-based pricing for new rooms. All rooms created before the price change will still remain free – so best get started right away!

 

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  Comments: 2


  1. What about captioning? Any academic organization should have captioning available. Zoom has AI captioning available on versions other than Basic. Does Wonder offer captioning? If not, it probably shouldn’t be endorsed by AACE.

    • Stefanie Panke


      That’s a great point. We are using Zoom or teams for most of our meetings and classes, but have experimented with Wonder for a different breakout room experience. We really liked it for that purpose. Not sure about what is built in to wonder, but I love the captioning and video search that Panopto offers – it would be an option to upload a recording and do an automatic caption. We’ll do some more research and update the post.

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