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Adobe Connect
Note to Turro Group

Each of the services below offers unique advantages (and disadvantages) for connecting via videoconference and for sharing information. A short description of each service is followed by simple step-by-step instructions on using that service to connect with the Turro Group.


Skype is a platform-independent (PC and Mac) program which is free to download and use that allows users to video-conference or tele-conference one-to-one quickly and efficiently. Skype does not easily facilitate multiple shared connections, does not allow one user to control a slideshow on other users computers, and Skype can break down depending on the speed of your connection since it operates on a voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

Note: Computer-to-computer calls are free on Skype, but computer-to-telephone calls may require a fee.

(Only necessary before the first use)
View Skype's Connection Instructions

  1. Go to http://www.skype.com/ and click on the 'Download' tab in the top left corner. Skype will identify your operating system and the correct version of Skype to download.

  2. Follow all onscreen instructions to install Skype on your computer.

  3. Complete the Skype registration by selecting your Skype username and password.

  4. After registering, open Skype to view your contact list.

View Skype's Connection Instructions

  1. To add the Turro Group, click on 'Contacts' > 'Add a Contact'. Under 'Add a Skype Contact', enter: turrogroup

  2. Skype will then display a list, the only entry should be the Turro Group in 'New York, United States'. Click that entry and then the 'Add a contact' button at bottom. Click 'OK' on the following screens - the Turro Group should now be listed as one of your contacts.

  3. To call a contact, click on that contact in your contact list, and click the button with the telephone icon. Your call will then ring until it is answered by the other party.

  4. To view video, click on the 'Video' button. Enlarge the video screen as you prefer.

  5. To end the call, click 'Hang up'.


DimDim is a free service which allows multiple users to connect to a central meeting where a presenter controls what is shown on the other participant's screens. Dimdim supports VoIP poorly (with echoes), so we have most often used Dimdim for the visual component of meetings and we have used Skype for the voice component of Dimdim meetings.

(Click any image for a larger view)
Download Dimdim instructions as a .ppt

  1. Go to http://www.dimdim.com

  2. Click on 'Join Meeting'

  3. The 'Meeting Room' will depend on the project and will be provided to you ahead of time by email. Enter the correct 'Meeting Room' name and 'Your Name' and click 'Join' (an example is shown below).

  4. This is what the Dimdim interface will look like once you've joined the meeting. You will see:
    • your name in the 'Participants' list
    • your host via video
    • the document name being shared
    You will also have the option to view the presentation full screen.

  5. As shown above, please mute your Dimdim session and connect to the meeting via Skype to hear the voice component of the presentations.

  6. If you have questions, please email Judy Chen (jyc2119@columbia.edu) for assistance.


Adobe Connect is a powerful tool for connecting multiple users which utilizes screen-sharing, video-conferencing, voice-conferencing, and instant messaging.

View a YouTube Video on Using Adobe Connect

  1. Enter the URL of the meeting room that has been provided to you. e.g. http://connectpro90455322.acrobat.com/test01/

  2. Simply enter your name so you can be identified once you enter the room.

  3. You may be prompted to install and Acrobat Connect Add-in. Go ahead and do that. This will enable the Adobe Connect interface to work on your computer. If you are not prompted, then you are good to go and should see a grey window with a thin green bar. Once the bar is completely green, you should be in the "Test01" Connect Pro Meeting room.

  4. You will automatically join as a participant. There is not much a participant can do with respect to moving things around on the screen; however, you CAN the following:
    • Make the presentation "Fullscreen"
    • Type your questions/comments in the Q&A pod (each boxes that you see are referred to as a pod in Adobe Connect)

  5. You will be on mute as default. This is to minimize the audio echo from built-in or external speakers. It is recommended that you reduce the speaker volume to a low level or use a headset.

    A USB headset is recommended because:
    • Built-in or external speakers can cause echo. We recommend reducing the speaker volume to a low level.
    • Webcams with microphones can pick up additional noise and cause echo. Using a Webcam for your audio is not recommended.
    • Laptops with built-in microphones: Built-in microphones can pick up noise and cause echo. Using a built-in microphone for your audio is not recommended. If you know how to turn off your laptop's built-in microphone, turn it off for your presentation (check your laptop's owner manual).
    • Voice over IP (VoIP) Audio Device Recommendations are located here.

  6. Also, the administrator can give you camera privileges, so if you have a webcam then we will be able to see your party. Just press "allow" when a small window pops out to access your camera and voice. Then you have to press the little camera icon on the bottom left of the video pod to activate your video feed. You may have to wait a few seconds for it to load.

  7. What will happen during the real lecture is, you may type your questions in the Q&A box and when Professor Turro breaks for questions, then the administrator will read it back to him and also give you the microphone privilege so you may elaborate on your question and interact with the professor.

  8. To have your voice heard during the session:
    • The way to speak is to hold down on the "Talk" button, and while holding it down, you will be able to transmit your voice. You can also tell that you are speaking when the microphone icon next to your name becomes a speaker.
    • Another option to speak is to use the "Hands-free". This is the lock icon next to the "Talk" button. You just press the lock once, and you can talk continuously without holding it down. This is okay if you have headsets on.
    • The administrator can take your microphone privilege away at anytime, so don't be alarmed if your voice drops out (also your microphone icon will disappear next to your name).

  9. Please be patient.

  10. If you have questions, please email Judy Chen (jyc2119@columbia.edu) for assistance.


Depending on the type of teleconference, Turro Group members need to comfortable setting up the following for their conference:

  • The appropriate software program

  • A laptop with:
    • Camera
    • *Speakers
    • *Extension Cord
    • *Power Strip

    Items with *'s can be found in a bag below the drawer with the group laptop. For training on how to set up any of these items, see Judy or Jeffrey.

  • Group members should already be familiar with setting up other optional equipment such as the projector or telephone.