Tips for Video & Web Conferencing in the Classroom

If you are going to be calling someone via video conferencing software in a classroom, there are a lot of things to pay attention to and ask questions about before the day arrives.

Audience

This article is intended for faculty and students.

Platform

Microsoft Windows, Mac OS

Contents

Choosing a Machine

All computers in the classrooms come with Skype and Zoom installed. Check the classroom to see if the podium machine is either a Mac or PC as both may be available in some rooms. Though Skype and Zoom on both operating systems are very similar, some things like menu placement may be different on them. The other option is to hook up your laptop to the projector with the laptop harness if you are more comfortable with your own machine.

Logging In

Do not forget your account information! If you do not have a Skype account, you can create one at  Skype.com. If you are using Zoom you just need to log in with SSO (Single Sign-On) with your netpass username and password.

Web Camera and Microphone Set Up

If you will be using the podium machine, make sure you have a webcam as most rooms are not equipped. If you need one you can loan one from the Service Desk through our loaner system. If you are using your laptop, you can choose to use the built in webcam and microphone on your computers or you can loan a webcam out. This equipment is good for small to medium size classrooms. Like for any web conference you will want to make sure that you and all your attendees speak at a good volume and enunciate. This is especially important if there are people at the back of the room who will be participating.

Adapters for Connecting Laptops

If you will be using your laptop, make sure you have the proper adapters to connect your laptop to the laptop harness at the podium. Some classrooms have a VGA cable, while other have HDMI. Check the classroom to see which is there, then acquire the adapters needed to connect your laptop.

The Service Desk has a few available to loan, but do not wait to the last second to loan one out. If you find yourself needing an adapter often, you can purchase one through procurement.

Internet Connection

Podium machines in the classrooms are already connect to our campus network. This is the most reliable connection for video and web conferencing. 

With a laptop you can either connect to our network via the Ethernet cable that is part of the laptop harness, or you can connect to the wireless. To ensure the best network connection we recommend you use an Ethernet cable. Be aware that Mac’s often require an adapter to connect an Ethernet cable. If you cannot connect via Ethernet, then connect to secure wireless if you are an IC community member or connect to guest/vistor wireless if you are a guest on campus. 

The party you will be calling should try to connect to their strongest connection as well, either via Ethernet or a strong wireless. Often calls will drop or be choppy because the other party has a bad connection, something out of your control once the call starts.

Testing Session

Make sure to get to the room early, possibly a couple days before, and test the connection with who you will be calling. Make sure that you have all the information you need to call them. Test that the webcam and microphone work and that both sides can be heard and seen easily with the setup you choose. Also test any other features you may be using such as screen sharing to make sure that works for both ends.

Requesting Support

If you need assistance setting up a web conference please fill our Web Conferencing form more than 7 to 10 days in advance so there is ample time for planning and testing.

Details

Article ID: 48
Created
Thu 7/13/17 11:19 AM
Modified
Thu 1/16/20 12:00 PM