Drew University, through the Instructional Technology Services department in coordination with CNS and ETC, offers several levels of videoconferencing options. Simply put, videoconferencing is a generic term for sharing audio and video between two or more people anywhere via the internet. ITS is currently developing its support for videoconferencing, and is piloting the following levels of service:
- Simple Point-to-Point
- One-to-Many and Many-to-Many
- Advanced Point-to-Point
All of these services are covered by the 1-ITS classroom hotline and MRC Event Hotline for academic classes and other events respectively. Charges may apply, please see the MRC fee schedule for further information.
Simple Point-to-Point Videoconferencing Service
ITS has chosen to a software package called “Skype” to support the basic level of videoconferencing.
What is Skype?
Skype is a free messaging program that can be used to communicate with people all over the world or right down the block. You can use it to talk face-to-face with others, with the help from a webcam and microphone. Skype allows one computer to chat with a second computer; several people can gather around a single webcam but Skype does not have a conference call option.
MRC Simple Point-to-Point Videoconferencing Support
The MRC will:
- Upon request provide a webcam and USB extender.
- Deliver, set-up and breakdown equipment.
- Assist customer in testing Skype video call.
Customer Responsibilities for using Skype:
- Call the MRC (x3342) to request this service at least two business days in advance of the event.
- Provide date, start/end times, location and account number to be charged (if applicable) when setting up the event.
- Provide a laptop to run the software from, or inform the MRC that they intend to use a classroom computer (extra lead time may be required for this option).
The MRC will NOT:
- Create a Skype account for customers.
- Log into a personal Skype account for customer use.
Using Skype on Campus
If you require assistance in setting up Skype for an event you can call the MRC at x3342 ahead of time to schedule a demonstration. We will assist in setting up the webcam /mic if needed and help run a test a prior to the call. You should also be aware that all equipment usage, including existing classroom equipment, MRC deliveries, and webcam rentals are subject to the costs listed in the MRC Price List and Fee Schedule.
If you are part of a class/committee/ group we recommend doing this in a TEC (TILE) classroom. The TEC (TILE) classrooms have LCD projectors with large screens that make viewing of the video chat much easier. Room use must be scheduled with the Registrar’s office or HCH as appropriate in advance, as should equipment use be scheduled with the MRC.
The following sections can be used by both the on-campus customer and the person they are connecting with to set up the software .
Getting started with Skype
To use Skype you will need:
- A computer, both Macs and PCs will work.
- Internet access (a wired connection is strongly recommended as opposed to a wireless one)
- A webcam, built-in to your computer or external is fine.
- A microphone, built-in or external
To install Skype on your computer:
1. Use an internet browser to go to the Skype website: http://www.skype.com
2. On the home page towards the top, choose the tab Get Skype
3. Scroll to the very bottom of this page. There will be a blue bar that reads “All the ways to get Skype” under which there are options for the computer, mobile phones, televisions, and at work. Under the “Computer” option, you should choose your operating system. Mac users who are running Mac OSX should choose the “Mac OSX” option, while PC users who have Windows should choose the “Windows” option. Linux users should choose the “Linux” option.
4. You should then click the “Download Now” link found in the blue box at the top of the page. This will start your download. When the file has finished downloading, you should run it by double clicking it on your desktop
5. Skype will start an install wizard. You should choose the language that you want to use to install Skype by choosing it from the drop-down box in the middle of the box.
6. You should then click the “I agree – install” button in the lower right corner of the box. This will continue you to the next page.
7. It will give you an option of installing Google Chrome as well. This is not necessary, and you may uncheck the boxes on this page if you wish. Google Chrome is a internet browser, much like Safari, FireFox, or Internet Explorer. Click “Continue Installing Skype” to continue.
8. Skype will then start installing. You do not need to do anything until it finishes. When it is done, please click “Start Skype” to begin.
Creating a new account
You will need an account to use Skype. After you finish installing Skype, it will ask you to create a new account. NOTE: This account is completely separate from your Drew uLogin account. Make sure you use a unique password. No University Technology employee will ever ask you for any username/password information.
1. You will need to enter your full name in the first box.
2. Skype will try and help you create a Skype name in the second box.
3. You will then need to create a password and enter it in the next two boxes.
4. You will also need an email account. Skype will ask you to enter it twice.
5. When you are done, please click “I agree – create account” to continue. Skype will then check to make sure that your Skype name is available and will give you options if it is not.
6. You will then be asked to enter your country, city, and birthday which will make it easier for contacts to find you. You can also enter your phone number for your contacts to call when you are not online. All of this is optional, not necessary information.
7. Skype also gives you the ability to sign-in when Skype starts without having to enter your password. The default is that Skype will sign you in when it starts. If you would like to change this option, please uncheck the box under the mobile phone option.
So you have installed Skype and have a screen name! You are almost ready to start using the program.
1. After setting up your web camera and your microphone, you should run the “Check your sound works” option. This way you can trouble shoot any problems now.
2. Skype also gives you an option that is called “Learn how to make calls”