mLab

Videoconferencing:
Using Skype to connect to the Reed College mLab

1. Set up Skype

Before the conference, get Skype and make sure it is working.  We can practice this with you ahead of time; contact us at mlab@reed.edu. (Don't have Skype yet? You can download it here.)  You can use a laptop camera or cheap webcam.  Laptop speakers and mic are serviceable, but you'll get much better results from even a cheap USB headset ($20-40, such as the low end of the selections from Logitech). If you videoconference a lot you can get a hands-free device like the Phoenix Duet PCS or ClearOne Chat50 USB. They run around $130. 

2. Make contact with us

Often the hardest thing about using Skype is setting up accounts and making contacts, so we've done that part for you!  If you are logged in to your own account, it's easiest to use Skype's "Sign In as Another User" command, under the Account menu. Then log in to our account with: 

 username: contactmlab
 password: <we'll send you this; it's posted in the mLab>

At the time scheduled for your videoconference, you will hear the sound of a telephone ringing and a call window will appear on your screen. Click on “Answer” to accept the call. The audio portion of the call is now connected. Speak into your microphone to talk to the other participants.

To start the video portion of the conference, click on the small blue video icon video button in the top left-hand corner of the computer screen. This will connect the camera to the call and allow the outside participants to see you.

To make the video fill the screen, click on the fullscreen icon fullscreen button in the top right-hand corner of the computer screen. In fullscreen mode, you will see a floating toolbar:

toolbar

 

You can click on the rightmost icon in the toolbar at any time to exit fullscreen mode. The toolbar will disappear after a few moments, but it will reappear if you briefly scroll your mouse over the screen.

When you are finished, click the red phone icon hang up button in the top right-hand corner to end the call. (If you are in fullscreen mode, click on the phone icon in the floating toolbar.)

Quit Skype by selecting Quit Skype from the Skype menu at the top of the screen.