Below is a brief comparison of tools available at Lesley to conduct an online meeting or make a video call. 


Collaborate

  • Robust web conferencing software with full suite of tools
  • Requires some planning and training to select appropriate features and manage large groups of participants
  • Ability to invite guests
  • Ability to record
  • Telephony capabilities (call in on phone for audio)
  • Available via myLesley courses and communities
  • Mobile apps available
  • Good for presentations, lectures, guest speakers, online classrooms


Blackboard IM (BB IM)

  • Instant messaging and audio/video chat tool that includes basic web conferencing capability
  • Connect via contact list to other BB IM users
  • Ability to connect with people at other BB IM schools
  • Students and instructors are automatically grouped together by course enrollments
  • Good for ad-hoc meetings, office hours, tutoring, demonstrations


Skype for Business (PC only)

  • Instant messaging and audio/video chat tool that includes basic web conferencing capability
  • Connect via contact list to other Lync users
  • Ability to call Skype users and invite guests
  • Ability to record
  • Mobile and web versions available
  • Good for ad-hoc meetings and conversations, class discussion, group work, tutoring, support


Microsoft Lync (Mac version of Skype for Business)

  • Instant messaging and audio/video chat tool that includes basic web conferencing capability
  • Connect via contact list to other Lync users
  • Ability to call Skype users and invite guests
  • Mobile and web versions available 
  • Good for ad-hoc meetings and conversations, class discussion, group work, tutoring, support


Skype for Business Web

  • Instant messaging and audio/video chat tool that includes basic web conferencing capability
  • Create meeting invite in Office 365 online and join via web browser 
  • Same features and interface on both Mac and Windows.
  • Ability to invite guests
  • Mobile versions available
  • Good for ad-hoc meetings and conversations, class discussion, group work, tutoring, support


Collaborate 

BB IM 

Skype for Business [PC] 

Lync for Mac 

Skype Web 

Audio/video chat

Text chat

Built-in phone conferencing

Whiteboard

Desktop Sharing

File share

View media files

Recording

Polling

Mobile version

Uses contact list to connect

Can invite guests without an account

Maximum participants in a single event

1000;

6 simultaneous mics and/or webcams

250

250;

up to 5 webcams shown at once

250

250;

up to 5 webcams shown at once