Trying to communicate with someone at a distance and wanting to include both audio and video? There are a wide array of options available for UW-Eau Claire staff and students. The following options are recommended and supported by LTS. You are strongly encouraged to seek the support and advice of LTS for video communication needs you are not familiar with.
A microphone is required for audio transmissions, and a webcam is similarly required for video. Most webcams come with a built-in microphone. These are available for both Windows and Mac, but the Mac version of Skype is missing a few features. To avoid audio echo, it is recommended that at least one of the participants use headphones or a headset rather than their computer speakers.
With 48 hours notice, a request can be submitted to the LTS Help Desk to have a webcam installed at the teaching station of a classroom or lab. The built in microphone may not be sufficient to pick up audio from the entire classroom, and even the camera element may have difficulty capturing enough detail to show large classrooms.
LTS Video Services has two distance education classrooms, one that can seat up to 35 participants, and a dual purpose room for up to 20 students in a classroom setting or 2-8 people around a table. These rooms are set up for standards based video conferencing, audio conferencing, and can also be integrated with Lync or Skype. An office is also available for 1-2 people to do video conferences. LTS Video also has a portable video conferencing system. Besides LTS resources, there are several other video conferencing capable locations on campus that may be available that LTS Video can help coordinate the use of. Contact LTS Video at (715) 836-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Communication Option||Description||Type and Number of Participants||When to Use||Resources|
|Allows for instant messaging, file transfer, video and audio calls, desktop sharing, and web conferences. The Lync client is installed on all Windows and Mac UW-Eau Claire computers and has a free attendee client available for non-UW-Eau Claire Windows users (attendee client is not available for Mac.) UW-Eau Claire users can download the full client to their personal Mac or Windows PC.||
Faculty, staff and students
Up to 250 participants
|When you want to easily connect with others on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Other UW institutions (UWSP) and organizations around the world also use Lync and their contacts can be added by using their email address if they allow "open federation."||
Online Help and links for student or staff downloads
|Collaborate or Online Rooms within D2L (formerly Elluminate)||Blackboard acquired Wimba and Elluminate and merged them into a single product now called Blackboard Collaborate. In D2L, the tool is called Online Rooms in the course navigation bar. Moderators and participants entering online rooms will see the Bb Collaborate name and logo as the software opens.||Faculty, (large group of students as participants), upwards of 400.
||When you have a D2L class set up and wish to connect to some or all of the students in that class.|
|Skype||Acquired by Microsoft in 2011, Skype allows for voice, video, desktop sharing, instant messaging, and file transfer. Additional features can be paid for. Skype is available on all classroom teaching stations, lab teaching station computers, and library group stations. Skype is also available for installation on UW-Eau Claire computers through Run Advertised Programs (Windows) or Self Service (Mac) for those who do not have administrative rights on the computer they use.||Faculty, staff and students (Requires the creation of a Skype account.)Person-to-person video (Free), group voice (Free), 3-5 video participants as a pay for service.||Skype is very widely used. Use Skype when you want to easily connect to another individual (rather than a group).||Skype.com|
|Blue Jeans Network
||Blue Jeans is a cloud video bridging service that allows you to connect a variety of endpoints into a single audio/video call. Blue Jeans helps get around interoperability issues between disparate systems. The participants have a variety of options to connect to a call: video conferencing systems like those found in our DE classrooms, native iOS and Android apps, Microsoft Lync, Google Video, Web Browser, and phone. The service has many international local numbers for dialing in audio. Skype connectivity is being discontinued as of Jan 2014 based on decisions to no longer support APIs made by Skype (Microsoft).
||Faculty and staff can request a Blue Jeans account by emailing email@example.com
Maximum of 100 participants in each meeting, any combination of connection types.
|If you need a simple method for scheduling video meetings with multiple participants who may have access to a variety of connection options. Let the user connecting using the tools they are most comfortable with. Content sharing is available if the room or software being used supports it. More features are scheduled to arrive in 2014, including recording.
||LTS Distance Education staff|