Web conferencing enables two or more individuals to meet “face-to-face” or “voice-to-voice” from almost any location in the world. A web conference combines video, audio, phone and internet technologies to facilitate a real-time connection. In addition to transmitting audio and video, users can exchange documents and collaborate with virtual “white boards” and chat. At Clark, we use web conferencing for:
- Distance learning;
- Instantaneous file-sharing/collaboration.
Web conferences can range from simple audio or video chats between two users with webcams to large-scale meetings connecting a hundred people in different locations. Some of the benefits include:
- Reduces travel time/costs;
- Supports Clark’s environmental sustainability efforts;
- Creates new and innovative learning opportunities;
- Enables immediate transfer of knowledge and information.
Academic Technology Services can provide equipment, support and training to meet the varied conferencing needs you may have.
We support several options for web conferencing.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business is a messaging system that allows users to have instant messaging (IM), video or audio conversations and/or meetings, allowing for a synchronous, online collaborative ‘meeting space’. Attendees can communicate in real-time with other attendees via chat, use their microphone, and show their webcam video.
- Most functionality, good communication quality and flexibility
- Video conference with up to 250 participants
- Record sessions for on-demand playback at a later time
- Easy set up and use in many locations
- Available as a desktop client and Mobile: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPad and iPhone.
Skype is a free application that allows users to make voice and video calls over the internet. Skype video conferencing requires a webcam, microphone, and computer with an internet connection. Skype also features instant messaging and screen and file sharing.
- Free software download;
- Widely available;
- Easy set up and use;
- Requires basic hardware (webcam and microphone), often built in on newer computers;
- Video conferencing capabilities with one other user;
- Audio calls with up to 25 users;
- Instant messaging and screen/file sharing capabilities.
Resources that will help you learn how to use Skype are available here.
Livestream is a live streaming video platform that allows users to view and broadcast video content. Hosts can stream live video or broadcast pre-recorded video in their channels to a virtually unlimited number of participants.
- Limited interactivity, easily accessible content;
- Live video streaming to an unlimited number of viewers;
- Sessions can be recorded with built in tools and saved for future playback;
- Easy set up and use in most locations;
- Requires basic hardware (webcam and microphone) and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for live streaming.
You can find resources to help you how to use Livestream here.
Is there a cost?
It depends. Generally web/video conferencing used for curricular purposes doesn’t have a charge associated with it. For administrative, sponsored research, or other non-curricular purposes there may be charges associated with setting up, testing, and proctoring the session if those services are required.
Please contact your Academic Technologist or Media Services team to help you with your video conferencing needs.