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Web/Video Conferencing



KU IT offers three options for web/video conferencing: 

  • Blackboard Collaborate is best for course specific web conferencing by instructors.
  • Skype for Business is best for video calls and online meetings with KU faculty and staff.
  • Zoom Video Conferencing is best for conference room video conferencing and online meetings with external partners. Zoom connects with conference rooms systems (e.g., Polycom) in addition to personal computers and mobile devices. 

KU Web/Video Conferencing Comparison Chart

Blackboard Collaborate:

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing platform which instructors can use to schedule synchronous class sessions. Collaborate can be launched directly from your Blackboard course.

Synchronous class sessions are a convenient medium for collaborative, interactive, and mobile learning. They provide space for faculty and students to replicate many elements of face-to-face instruction while online. They also provide an alternative venue for student group work. And by using the sessions for office hours and student consultations, they can involve each student on an individual level. Interactive presentations and the use of Collaborate’s polling feature assist with student engagement.

Visit Blackboard Learn: Collaborate for more information.

Skype for Business (Lync):

KU IT provides web conferencing via Skype for Business. With the click of a button you can open a text chat, make a voice or video call, or even start an online meeting. And, you can use Skype for Business from nearly any computer or mobile device, on campus or anywhere in the world you have Internet access.

Skype for Business Highlights: 

  • Choose how you want to communicate—through text chat, voice call or video call.
  • Skype for Business/Lync can be used on PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.
  • Integration with Microsoft Outlook address book makes it easy to contact KU colleagues for a quick chat, voice call or video conference.
  • See if your contacts are available, in a meeting or away from their desk.
  • Send and share files with simple drag and drop.
  • Start and impromptu video conference with the click of a button.
  • Schedule online meetings for up to 250 participants using Outlook—even if they don’t have Skype for Business/Lync.
  • Easily share a PowerPoint presentation, whiteboard or your entire desktop during an online meeting.
  • Chat, voice call or video call with colleagues in more than 800 institutions around the world, just by adding them as a contact.

Visit Skype for Business for more information.

Zoom Video Conferencing:

Zoom combines video conferencing, online meetings and in-conference group messaging into one easy-to-use tool that is ideal for KU conference rooms and online meetings with external partners. Zoom is a supplement to the web/video conferencing capabilities of Skype for Business and Blackboard Collaborate (see recommended uses for each above).

Zoom Highlights:

  • Zoom at KU allows for video, audio and content sharing among up to 100 participants on most devices, including Windows and Mac computers, Android and iOS devices, and KU video conferencing room systems (e.g., Polycom).
  • Zoom replaces multi-point video conferencing via KanREN. 
  • Zoom connects with conference room systems (e.g., Polycom), as well as computers and mobile devices. 
  • Join Meetings — Participants can join a Zoom meeting from anywhere in the world via the Zoom app
  • Host/Schedule Meetings — A KU Pro Zoom account is required to host/schedule meetings. Only KU faculty, staff and GTA/GRAs are eligible for KU Zoom Pro accounts. Sign in at KU Zoom Video Conferencing to get a KU Pro Zoom account.
  • Download the Zoom app on your KU-Owned workstation, personal computer, and/or mobile device at KU Zoom Video Conferencing.
  • KU signed a contract with Zoom for fiscal year 2018 as a solution for conference room video conferencing. 
  • Zoom is a cost-effective tool that provides a wide range of options as we replace aging conference room hardware. 
  • Zoom's accessibility features include closed captioning (CART).

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