Cisco/Jabber is one of the primary video-conferencing tools that the BU SSW uses for synchronous online classes and is often used for meetings and interviews.
Planning a Session:
· At least before the session, contact Jim Heston with a request for the session (see above). He can also assist in designing the course and thinking through technology needs.
· Having a mix of students meeting in class with the instructor and other students coming in by video-conference almost always presents additional obstacles and distractions (e.g., students who came to class anxiously waiting for technical issue to be resolved).
· If sharing video of participants faces isn’t of prime importance, could BlackBoard Collaborate be a better solution? Sometimes, even within one day's class session, it might be appropriate to switch back and forth between Jabber and Collaborate.
· It is a good idea to share cell phone numbers among participants before a session begins in case some participants are experiencing difficulty. Also, consider pre-arranging a back-up plan if Cisco/Jabber is working for participants such as BlackBoard Collaborate or Skype.
· A set of norms should be established (e.g., Should we greet each other each time? Should participants mute themselves when not talking? How do we end each session? Do we raise our hands so as not to interrupt each other?).
· Video-conferences often have specific windows of times they can be used. If a virtual class is assigned a time, respect that time start and stop times. Moderate conversations and use an agenda so that connection efficiently uses the pre-arranged time period.
Before a Session:
· If you are organizing a session, check that participants have scheduled a test connection.
· Test outgoing video, mic, and speakers/headphones by using the Quick-Setup (on Mac, look next to the Apple icon at the top left of the screen and then under Jabber Video; or, on a PC, look for the wrench icon on the Jabber Video call-in pop-up box) feature in Cisco/Jabber.
· To ensure the best connection, wire into an Ethernet connection. If you need to use a wireless connection, try to get as close to the nearest router as possible.
· If you are using a laptop or iPad, plug in to a power source so you are not disconnected because of power loss.
· Close other programs that will not be needed for the connection.
· Try to use the same location for each connection as much as possible.
· Check the self-view before placing a call so that you can adjust how other participants see you (it is not a good idea to sit in front of a window as it often causes your face to be in shadow).
· If using “Presentation Sharing,” test it ahead of time. The applications being shared need to be open on your desktop.
· For more info on presenting online, click here.
During a Session:
· When calling a virtual number, the number has to be exact just like a phone number. If a recent call pops up, double check that it is the correct number.
· The first few minutes of a video-conference might need to be reserved to trouble-shoot.
· Using headphones and muting audio when not talking can help hearing those speaking and cut down on audio feedback and noise.
· It is usually best to think about which tools fit your goals instead of forcing the use of a tool.
· Sharing videos, Prezis, or other high bandwidth applications through Cisco/Jabber will probably not work. If you need to share a video, one solution is to share the link (such as YouTube) for participants to watch asynchronously. For other solutions, see Online Video Sharing here or contact Jim Heston.· Treat the session as much like a normal meeting as possible: keep eye contact, avoid doing other tasks, etc.
· Sometimes it feels as if technology is an extra barrier in communication; it might help to imagine the video screen as a window into a virtual room where you are interacting with real people. After using video-conferencing awhile, the awkwardness of the technology tends to fade away.
· If video-conferencing is used in a discussion, try to think of the computer/cart as another participant in the conversation, not as the focal point.
· If your video camera or microphone is not working, try: going to Jabber Quick-Setup and selecting a different camera/mic, plugging an external camera/mic into a different (USB) port, restarting Jabber, or restarting your computer.
· If you are not receiving sound from other participants, try: going to Jabber Quick-Setup and selecting different speakers (click the Play triangle to test; adjust the slide bar to the middle), check the volume level in the Jabber window (turn it all the way up), check to see if anything is plugged into headphone jack on the computer, or check various volume controls on computer (perhaps try seeing if a YouTube video plays sound).
· If you seem to have a bad connection, try disconnecting and calling back in.· If your video continues to freeze or is distractingly pixelated, click the camera icon to turn your camera off and participate with only audio.
· If you get are having connection issues or get disconnected, go to http://www.bandwidthplace.com and click the green start button. Email Jim Heston the results (the number for upload and download).
· If a frozen video image is interfering with the connection, contact Jim Heston or Nils Holgersson (see below).
Jabber Functions (mac & PC) Video Tutorial (recommended)
Jabber Cart Use & Set-up Video Tutorial (recommended if using cart)
· Jabber Functions (Mac & PC) Video Tutorial (11:26)
· Jabber Cart Use & Set-up Video Tutorial (8:21)
· Jabber System Requirements (recommended)
· Jabber Mic & Camera Requirements (recommended)
· Jabber Software Download
(in the box Movi Software, right side of web page)
· Jabber Install Guide (PC)
· Jabber Install Guide (Mac)
· Jabber Trouble-shooting Guide
· Jabber User Guide
· Jabber update
· Bandwidth Tester· Basic Principles of Lighting
Jim Heston, Baylor School of Social Work Coordinator of Academic Technology
Cart “Home Rooms”
The two Cisco/Jabber carts will be stored in a “home room” each semester, cart 1 on the first floor and cart 2 on the second floor. Classes routinely using the carts will try to be scheduled in these rooms, and these rooms may change each semester depending on the classes needing them. The carts are expensive and fragile pieces of technology:
· do not move them from the home rooms unnecessarily,
· when moving them, go slow and prevent excessive shaking of the equipment,
· be cautious of storing the ethernet and power cords inside the unit before moving (be careful not to smash/damage the wires in the cart cabinet door).
The carts will stay plugged in to the electrical outlet and the ethernet port in these rooms in order to receive updates; they go to sleep after awhile. When a class is finished using them, they will be pushed toward the wall as much as possible. If a cart needs to moved (the request has been accepted), an instructor (or students assigned by the instructor) can use this video for basic instructions. On the back of each cart is a sticker with the cart number, a list of ongoing virtual classes with call in numbers, and a QR code that links to the instructional cart video.
Cart 1 "Home Room": 120
Cart 2 "Home Room": 213
· 9999____ number use: Only use a virtual room with a 9999 call-in number during a time that has been scheduled through Jim Heston or Nils Holgersson; Baylor has a limit of 26 participants at any one time so you might be kicking out someone from their scheduled session.
· Sharing PowerPoint: When using the Share Presentation feature to share a PowerPoint, Mac users cannot enter presentation mode. You can share the PowerPoint, but the editing menus will still be visible. Your best bet is to minimize each of the menu bars as much as you can. PC users should get a pop-up window when they open PowerPoint presentation mode that asks if they want to share.
· Mac users: If you are trying to download Jabber but get an error that says you cannot download from an untrusted website/developer, you can allow an individual application from an unknown developer by control-clicking its icon and selecting Open.
· iPad users: iPads are not able to use all of the features of Cisco/Jabber such as the Share Presentation feature to share documents, PowerPoints, etc. Also in order to access virtual rooms (9999 numbers), you cannot use the normal search box; use the icon at the top right that is a square made of 9 dots.
· mobile phone users: There is not a current version of Cisco/Jabber for mobile devices besides Cisco/Jabber carts, laptops and iPads.
To Request a Cisco/Jabber Connection or Cart
Faculty/Staff: Try to notify Jim Heston at least a week prior to connection (to create accounts, to send installation instructions, to test connect, request connection, etc.), giving the following information:
· The names and email addresses of participants that need to install Cisco/Jabber
· The names and email addresses of participants that need their Cisco/Jabber usernames or passwords
· The time and date for the connection (and if it is ongoing, what is the date range)
· Whether one of the Cisco/Jabber carts will be needed and, if so, in which room
· The number of participating computers (the Cisco/Jabber cart counts as a computer)
· Whether the session needs to be recorded (recording a session takes an added "seat" in a virtual room, extra time to set-up, is not easy to edit or share).
See "Cisco/Jabber Request Form" below.
Students/Guests: If you need to set up an account or conduct a test connection, contact Jim Heston. If want to know about the possibility of using Cisco/Jabber for class, please contact your professor.
Installation & Test Connection
Once a complete request for a new user is submitted, Jim Heston will send an email with instructions for installing Cisco/Jabber for a Mac, PC, or iPad (iPads are not able to utilize the full range of features). The email will also include the users username, password, an instructional video, and information on contacting for a test connection. It is a good idea to test the Cisco/Jabber connection any time a it is installed on a new computer or attempted from a new location. Test connections can be scheduled most workdays between 8:00-5:00, depending on availability. When users do not schedule a test connection, time is often wasted during the actual session.
Connecting on Cisco/Jabber from one computer (or cart) to one other computer (or cart) is called a point-to-point connection. These do not need to be scheduled unless a cart is needed. When placing a call, one person calls another like a phone call by typing the other person's name (or SSW cart 1 o 2) into the Jabber search box, selecting their name, and then clicking the green START button. The person receiving the call needs to be logged in to Jabber and then clicks the green ACCEPT button that pops up on their screen.
A virtual classroom is a Cisco/Jabber connection involving 3 or more computers (again, Cisco/Jabber carts count as a computer). These types of connection need to be requested and scheduled (preferably at least a week prior to the session) even if a cart is not involved. Baylor can only accommodate 25 participants on Cisco/Jabber at any one time. When connecting, a 9999… number will be assigned, and each participant will call in using that specific number; do not call using a person's name if a virtual room is being used. Once calling in, participants are in the room waiting for others to call in -- no one has to accept the call. Virtual rooms (and the 9999 numbers) are time and date specific; they should not be used outside the scheduled times.