In addition to traditional videoconferencing using dedicated equipment, recent developments now allow end-users to conduct their own conference sessions at their own computer. This is done via desktop conference software such as Adobe Connect Pro or Skype.
Each software application uses a different proprietary method of communication. There are no standards in place that allow inter-operability. That means everyone must use the same software in order to see and hear each other.
For critical video conferencing, we still recommend using the dedicated conference equipment available from Maxwell ICT. We have such capability in the Global Collaboratory and a portable unit for other rooms.
Please note that ICT does not manage the campus Adobe Connect Pro server or any portion of the Skype service. We cannot provide immediate support during a live event if something is not working correctly.
If you have a mission-critical event, we always suggest 1st trying to conduct it through ICT’s traditional video teleconferencing systems.
Skype is well-accepted among the online community for personal web conferencing. ICT offers three ways to use Skype:
- Skype installation on your office computer
- You may borrow our web conference cart for small groups
- We can host your group in the Global Collaboratory
Skype is not officially supported on campus beyond basic installation. Skype uses a proprietary method to share audio and video so you must use Skype to talk to someone else who is using Skype. This program is fully compatible with the Global Collaboratory.
There are two limitations of Skype to consider:
- the client software must be installed on each computer being used
- it is limited to one-on-one video chat without premium Skype account (for cost)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request installation of Skype.
Adobe Connect Pro
All SU faculty, students, and staff are now able to use Adobe Connect Pro. This web application features modules (called Pods) for interactive chat, polling questions, file sharing, screen sharing, whiteboarding, and more. This program is fully compatible with the Global Collaboratory.
Key features of Adobe Connect Pro:
- It runs completely in your web browser via Adobe Flash which is already installed on 96% of worldwide computers, Mac or PC (nothing to install)
- It supports multi-user video
Web Conferencing in Classrooms
You may bring a guest speaker with these programs into any classroom with a projector and speakers. Below are some possible configurations you can use. When there is no microphone or camera in the classroom, the guest will not be able to hear or see the students.
You may provide your own microphone or webcam in order for the distant guest to see or here people in the room here. The guest speaker will appear on the projection screen and you can hear them from the room speakers. People in the classroom have to stand in front of the laptop to communicate with the distant speaker.
Reserve our web conference cart
ICT offers a web conference cart complete with webcam, microphone, and large monitor. This cart may be setup in any room within the Maxwell/Eggers complex.
Borrow a webcam and microphone
The campus Learning Environments and Media Production group (LEMP) loan out a web conference kit. This includes a webcam and a microphone. See this ITS web page for information about their equipment loan program.
Laptop with webcam
This will allow the distant guest to see and hear individuals here. You may bring a laptop into the classroom and connect it to the room system. Use the VGA and headphone outputs from the laptop. The guest speaker will appear on the projection screen and you can hear then from the room speakers. People in the classroom have to stand in front of the laptop to communicate with the distant speaker.
The room is setup with microphones at each desk and multiple cameras on the walls. ICT will operate that equipment for you conference; you have full control of the conference software. This room works well with Adobe Connect Pro; but Skype cannot use our installed cameras.