Skype/Video Conferencing

The Department of English has a dedicated Skype account, unlenglish01, that is available for department-related video conferences.

Skype-Ready Conference Room 201A

Conference Room 201A, on the east end of the main office, is equipped with everything you need for a quality Skype session: TV-size monitor, webcam, conference microphone, and of course, a computer with Skype software installed.

To plan a Skype session in this room:

  1. Make a reservation by emailing Barbara Starks at bstarks2@unl.edu.
    • Be sure to include your name, the room number (Conference Room 201A), and the date(s) and time(s) needed. If the room is available, Barbara will send you a confirmation and add your reservation to the room calendar.
  2. Decide between using the department Skype account or a personal one.
  3. Exchange Skype usernames with the people you plan to call.
    • The username for the department Skype account, should you choose to use it, is unlenglish01.
  4. Contact andrewssupport@unl.edu if you would like assistance on the day of your Skype call.
    • Technology in the room is already set up and configured for Skype. However, if a department technology staff member is available, we can be on hand to make sure you get connected.

Installation

Skype is free to download and use, even for group calls.

Department devices have Skype pre-installed.

If you are using a personal device, you can install Skype yourself. Download the correct version for your device, double-click the install file, and follow the prompts.

Configure Camera and Microphone on a Mac

Skype is easy to set up, and you can configure your camera and microphone before you make a call. On a Mac laptop or desktop, configure your camera and microphone with your computer before opening Skype.

1. If you are using an external camera and/or microphone, plug them in to the USB ports on your computer.

2. Click the Apple icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen, and choose "System Preferences..."

Mac menu showing system preferences

3. Click on "Sound" (second row, far right).

Mac menu showing system preferences

4. In the Sound preferences window, click "Output." Then, under "Select a device for sound output:" select the speakers you want to use.

  • In Conference Room 201A, select "Chat 160" to use the conference microphone's speaker capabilities. This prevents echoes from escalating during the call.
  • If you plan to use your device's built-in microphone, choose "Internal Speakers" to avoid echoes during the call.
Mac Sound menu showing output

5. Next, click "Input." Then, under "Select a device for sound input:" select the microphone you want to use.

  • In Conference Room 201A, select "Chat 160" to use the conference microphone.
  • Most webcams have a built-in microphones. If you are using an external USB webcam, but not a separate external microphone, select the webcam in this list.
Mac Sound menu showing input

6. Once you have selected your microphone, speak normally to test the input level. You should see the sound bars labeled "Input level" light up from left to right as you speak. Adjust the "Input Volume" slider so that the bars fill about 3/4 of the whole. Typically, you will need to set your microphone to maximum input volume, as shown above.

7. Your settings are automatically saved, and you can close the window.

Configure Camera and Microphone in Skype

Once you have configured your camera and microphone with your computer, set Skype to use them when you make calls.

1. If you are using an external camera and/or microphone, make sure they are plugged in and configured your computer.

2. Open Skype and log in with your username and password. The password for the department account, unlenglish01, can be obtained by emailing andrewssupport@unl.edu.

Skype password screen

3. Click on "Skype" in the menu bar at the top of your screen, and choose "Preferences..."

Mac menu showing system preferences

4. Select the "Audio/Video" tab. Then, in the "Microphone" drop-down menu, select the microphone you would like to use. Once selected, speak normally so your microphone can pick up the sound. You should see bars lighting up in the blue volume indicator.

  • Select the same microphone here as you select in Step 5 of the previous section.
  • In Conference Room 201A, the microphone is called "Chat 160."
Skype password screen

6. In the drop-down menus labeled "Ringing" and "Speakers," select the speaker and/or conference microphone through which you would like to hear sound. Adjust the volume, if needed, using the slider below the speaker menu.

7. In the drop-down menu labeled "Camera," select the webcam you would like to use. This may be a built-in webcam, which comes with most laptops and tablets, or an external, USB-connected webcam.

  • In Conference Room 201A, the webcam is called "Logitech C930."
  • USB webcams are available for checkout from the department, if needed.

8. Your settings are automatically saved, and you can close the settings window.