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Video Conferencing Applications

In 2015-2016 UMass Amherst launched an extensive video conferencing pilot to determine which tool would best meet the needs of the campus community. We found that Zoom met campus needs the most comprehensively, and we are rolling out Zoom campus-wide in the fall of 2016.

This page provides information to help you get started with different video conferencing applications, including where to download, applications, resources for learning how to use and where to get help, and best practices for hosting or attending a video conference meeting.

Note: Some individuals may need to contact their Department IT Administrator to install software on a university-owned device.


UMass Amherst now has a site license for a desktop video conferencing program (Zoom) that will allow faculty, staff, and students to host their own live online meetings with video, audio, screen sharing, and text-based chat. Zoom offers many instructional applications, including:

  • hosting speakers in a classroom from across the world.
  • simplifying the coordination of group work with online break-out rooms.
  • hosting online office hours. 

For more information about Zoom's features, see: https://zoom.us/feature.

Request Zoom

To request a Zoom account, please contact IT User Services (413-545-9400 (option 2), or visit IT Accounts Management – A109 Lederle Graduate Research Center (LGRC) Low-rise, M – F, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

Get Started & Help with Zoom

Review detailed documentation to learn how to get started with Zoom in the Zoom Support Center.

For help with Zoom, go to the Zoom Technical Support page to submit a help ticket, or to call or chat with a Zoom support representative. Note: be sure to submit a ticket for the "Business, Education or AP" plans, NOT the Free or Pro plans.


Other Video Conferencing Applications

In addition to Zoom, members of the campus community might also be using other platforms that do not require a license. While these are not formally supported by the university, they can be useful to meet individual needs.

FaceTime

A free Apple app that allows a one-to-one connection on Apple devices between individuals who have an Apple ID. Ideal for point-to-point video conferences that will have an Apple device on each end, and for hosting individual online meetings with students or colleagues who have Apple devices. For more information see:

http://www.apple.com/mac/facetime/

Support documentation for FaceTime is available at: https://www.apple.com/support/mac-apps/facetime/

Google Hangouts

A free app that allows up to 10 simultaneous video and audio feeds and unlimited viewers. Best for classes that are already using Google tools, like GMail, Calendar, Drive, and YouTube, since these services integrate with Hangouts. 

To get Goolge Hangouts, go to the Google Hangouts home page for links to download from Google Play, the Apple App Store, and the Chrome Web Store.

For instructions and video tutorials, explore the Get Started with Hangouts guide from Google.

To find an answer or ask a question, visit the Hangouts Help Forum. All support for Google Hangouts is provided through this forum.

Skype

A free program that allows up to 10 simultaneous video feeds and 300 viewers. A popular choice for small classes, webinars, or for guest speakers. For more information see:

http://www.skype.com/en/features/

Download Skype at http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/.

For assistance using Skype for the first time, visit the Getting Started Guide for tutorials and documentation.

Skype support is available via email or chat.


Best Practices for Hosting or Attending a Meeting

You can have a successful desktop video conferencing session- either as host or attendee- by having the right equipment and following a few simple best practices. For details, see our Successfully Host or Attend a Video Conference page.


Get Help Teaching with Video Conferencing

If you are a UMass instructor and have questions about, or need help with incorporating video conferencing into your teaching, please contact the Instructional Media Lab (instruct@umass.edu | 413-545-2823).

For classroom A/V support related to Fuze video conferencing, please contact Classroom Technology Services at 413-545-8280, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.