If you’re considering web conferencing but don’t want to build a system from scratch, here are eight web hosting services that provide the necessary tools:

1. First Class Collaborative Classroom by SoftArc (http://www.education.softarc.com). Provides eMail, conferencing, chat, and web publishing services.

2. Lotus LearningSpace (http://www.lotus.com/ home.nsf/welcome). Provides tools for building web-based learning environments. Features shared applications, web tours, and asynchronous discussions.

3. Sitescape Forum, also known as Alta Vista Forum (http://www.sitescape.com). Offers threaded discussions, document sharing, and integrated chat.

4. Tapped In (http://www.tappedin.sri.com). Provides virtual offices, meeting rooms, and tools that support professional development.

5. WebBoard by O’Reilly & Associations (http://www.webboard.com). Provides threaded discussions with integrated chat.

6. Web Crossing by Lundeen & Associates (http://www.lundeen.com). Offers threaded discussions with optional chat.

7. WebCT (http://www.ult.net or http://www. webct.com). Features web-based course authoring, conferencing, chat, calendar, and quizzing.

8. WebSentric (http://www.presentation.net). Provides online presentation hosting with audio, interactive whiteboard, and chat.