Keeping Your Off-Campus Video Collaborations Safe and Stress-Free

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As most college campuses including the University of Arkansas continue to conduct classes and operations remotely for the time being, there are simple ways to keep your off-campus collaborations safe and stress free. 

With much of our campus community shifting to video conferencing as a simple way to stay in touch with fellow classmates or co-workers, there are many free resources already available for all U of A students, faculty and staff. 

MICROSOFT TEAMS, SKYPE AND COLLABORATE

  • Microsoft Teams
    • Unified communication and collaboration platform that allows workplace chat, unlimited video conferencing and file sharing.
       
    • Available through the Microsoft Office 365 suite (free with university email and password).
       
    • Able to sync with smartphone or any laptop and add contacts, voicemail and calendar.
       
  • Skype for Business
    • Recommended softphone app that can be used in place of a physical desk phone.
       
    • Video capable.
       
    • Available for free with university email and password.
       
    • Able to sync with smartphone or any laptop to add contacts and voicemail.
       
  • Collaborate Ultra
    • Creates a virtual classroom, office or meeting space in order to communicate with users on campus or anywhere in the world.
       
    • Recommended for academic classes that need to meet virtually inside of Blackboard.
       
    • Available for free with university email and password through Blackboard.

While there are other brands and apps that can be utilized for video conferencing, like Zoom, the two programs most recommended by the university's IT Services office are Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. 

OTHER PLATFORMS

Outside programs like Zoom may be susceptible to hackers or outside parties that could crash your video conference, causing a distraction or even playing inappropriate videos. Programs like Teams and Skype for Business allow for secure connection to make sure there are no disruptions during important meetings. 

If you prefer to use Zoom or a similar platform that isn't Teams or Skype, check out these 10 tips for security and privacy.

FILE SHARING AND STORAGE

Box is a powerful cloud storage and collaboration tool available to all. Box users can upload, download, share and edit files via the web and mobile devices. One Drive is also available to save and collaborate on files.

IT HELP DESK

For assistance accessing campus resources from off campus or setting up any of the resources provided below, please contact us at the IT Help Desk, open 7 days a week.

By phone: 479-575-2905
Online: Chat with Tech Support | IT Help Portal
Monday to Thursday — 7 a.m. to midnight
Fridays — 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturdays — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sundays — 3 p.m. to midnight

There are many other services available free of charge for the entire U of A community through the IT Services website. There you can find more helpful tips on how to most effectively use programs like Teams and Skype as well as how IT Services can help you stay connected no matter where you are.  

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Chris Butler, director, customer engagement
University Information Technology Services
479-387-3836, chrisb@uark.edu

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