Tufts Technology Services recently introduced a digital web conferencing tool, Cisco WebEx, which will allow members of the Tufts community to coordinate classes, meetings and other collaborative events online.
George Moore, the team lead of TTS Support Systems, explained that WebEx is designed to be universally accessible and will use technology to benefit the Tufts community.
“The idea to implement WebEx came from a desire to offer a robust web conferencing tool that could be used by everyone,” he said. “It was important to us that the tool allow any student, faculty, staff or affiliate with a Tufts username and password to initiate web conferences. This removes access and usability barriers and allows the greatest number of people to make use of the tool.”
Moore said that TTS chose WebEx as the university’s new web conferencing service largely because it was compatible with devices that are already in common use on campus, making it easy for Tufts students and faculty to adapt to using it.
“WebEx allows people to join or host a virtual meeting from almost any internet-connected device, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and Android devices, making the service widely available to members of the Tufts community and those we collaborate with outside the university,” he said.
Tufts Technology Services’ Director of Communications & Organizational Effectiveness Dawn Irish, said that the program is free to users and thus easily accessible.
“We wanted to ensure that cost would not bar anyone who wanted to collaborate using the university’s web conferencing tool,” she said.
Moore anticipates that students will come to appreciate and benefit from a program as useful as WebEx, especially as it has the potential to serve them in their academic projects.
“I think current Tufts students will appreciate the ability to use WebEx to work with other students on homework or projects,” he said. “I think the capability to share screens, participate in video calls and collaborate on a file while being able to record the whole interaction is invaluable for coursework and research.”
Moore said that WebEx would also assist faculty members in their everyday duties, particularly in offering students assistance on a wider basis than they are currently able to do. “WebEx can also be used by teachers or TAs to provide remote assistance to students during office hours,” he said. “There are so many creative ways WebEx can be used, and we are excited to see how our students take advantage of the tool.”
WebEx can currently be accessed at https://tufts.webex.com.