mLab

video conferenceVideoconferencing

Need to do some videoconferencing? The mLab is set up for it. You can bring a group of people into the room and use our camera, mics, and speakers to work with people at a remote site in real time. We can also advise you on what you can do from your own computer.

In the lab we have several different solutions, appropriate for different needs. All of them use the Internet to connect to remote sites.

  • Skype is great for connecting to a single remote site. Skype can keep a text chat on the screen along with the video and audio, which can be helpful.  It's good for meetings and interviews where a group here needs to interact with a distant person or group, and all or almost all of the communication is by voice. Skype is free. 
  • Elluminate has many features including an interactive whiteboard, screen sharing, and text chat. It has a steeper learning curve and a less natural interface than Skype or ooVoo. The video window is small. It's a good choice for making a remote presentation with slides or other media, or to collaborate on a document or drawing. Our license allows unlimited use with up to 10 sites at once. Because of the learning curve, it's good for repetitive use such as regular meetings of collaborators. 
  • ooVoo is good for meetings and interviews with 3-6 sites. It offers audio, video, and text chat and is very easy to use. It's the most expensive solution, with monthly subscription charges. We are currently piloting it.

If you are interested in exploring how you might use videoconferencing in the mLab or at your desk, we'd love to talk to you: mlab@reed.edu  

Note: All of these tools work over the Internet, so the quality and reliability can't be guaranteed the way they could with dedicated setups that cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the results are generally quite good. And if necessary we can work with you to set up a phone conference as a fallback in case of technical difficulty during your conference.