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Web conferencing

Features

Web-conferencing can be used to invite remote speakers to give a talk or "visit" a class, to host webinars and virtual meetings and to collaboration across distances, Web-conferencing is a form of teleconferencing in which voice and video are transmitted over the Internet, rather than telephone lines (as in teleconferencing) or dedicated video connections.  

Web-conferencing solutions are inexpensive, self-service and flexible conferencing solutions. In addition to video and voice, most platforms also allow participants to share screens and documents, and to "chat" or post instant text messages to the group.

It's chief drawback is that quality and stability depend on participants' Internet connections. Participants connecting from college campuses will generally have no problems, but video, screen-sharing and other high-bandwidth features may not be accessible for participants connecting from home or in regions with poor Internet service.

Getting Started

Hardware:

  • An individual participant needs a computer with a microphone, headphones, and a high-speed Internet connection to join a meeting and a webcam to share video
  • Headset microphones and webcams can be checked out from the Canaday Library circulation desks
  • Campus options for a web conferences involving groups of people:
    • Request a webcam and microphone for web-conferencing under "A/V Notes" when you reserve a room through Virtual EMS
    • Call 610-526-7449 or email multimedia@brynmawr.edu to request a webcam and microphone for web-conferencing in a classroom booked through the Registrar  

Software:

  • Skype is available for free, but all participants must have a Skype account. Skype is generally best for one-on-one video calls and collaboration among small groups of people who have or are willing to set up accounts on the same service.
  • On most commercial web-conferencing platforms, such as WebEx, Go-To Meeting, and Adobe Connect, only the host needs to have an account. The host will typically email you a web link along with information about the time and date of the meeting. To join one of these meetings, simply click on that link or cut-and-paste the URL into a web browser at the appointed time.  
  • Bryn Mawr College has a limited number of Adobe Connect licenses for faculty and staff groups who need to host large or open-invitation web conferences.

Support

  • LITS can help you choose a web-conferencing platform, get started hosting meetings, and set up an Adobe Connect account for your group if necessary. Contact the Help Desk, help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440 for more information.
  • Contact Multimedia Services, multimedia@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440 for help setting up Skype connections in meeting rooms and classrooms. 

Availability

  • Anyone can create a free Skype account. 
  • Anyone can join a conference hosted on a paid service like Go-To Meeting or Adobe Connect by clicking on the meeting weblink provided in the invitation or registration confirmation email.
  • Bryn Mawr College has a limited number of Adobe Connect licenses for faculty and staff groups who need to host large or open-invitation web conferences. Contact the Help Desk, help@brynmawr.edu or 610-526-7440 to request an account.
 
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