Hardware and Software Information

Page Contents

1. Hardware for Internet Tutorials
2. Your Internet Connection
3. Conferencing Software for Internet Tutorials
4. Using the Software
5. What does a Schola Tutorial look like on your computer?

1. Hardware for Internet Tutorials

    Participation in Schola's tutorials requires a Pentium-level PC of at least 100 mhz with at least 16 megs of RAM, running Windows 95 (or 98 or NT), a 28.8 modem or faster, sound card, speakers, and a microphone. It is good to have at least a 15" monitor. A larger one is nice, but not necessary.

    A camera is not necessary to receive video. The ability to send video on CU-SeeMe requires a camera, and there are some inexpensive ones available, but this is NOT necessary for Schola and ETS tutorials. Even if students have them they can't use them much in classes because of screen, computer power, and internet bandwidth limitations), and even without one, they will still be able to see the tutor's video. We will rely on audio, text chat-boxes, and our web browsers. The main advantage of cameras for students is that they are fun in out-of-class hours! 

2. Your Internet Connection
    A regular TCP/IP internet connection via a local ISP (internet service provider) is far more likely to give you good results in these online tutorials than AOL and other commercial services that filter your connection to the internet through a proxy server. They may tell you that their connection will work fine, but our experience has shown that this simply is not so; you will have a great deal of trouble with your CU-SeeMe.

    You should also check to see whether your ISP will have you behind a firewall (this is a security feature that many ISPs use). If this is the case, you will definitely have problems. Ask them if there is a way you can not be behind the firewall, or if there is a way to work around it. If they can't do this, then find an ISP that does not put you behind a firewall.

    Also, some free e-mail services are not useful for these tutorials: for instance, Juno does not allow attachments, and I often have to send attachments to students; furthermore, Juno has a mailbox capacity, and if you do not check your mail often enough, mail I send to you may not reach you. Free web-based mail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Netscape, etc. are fine.

    A word about "e-mail viruses." As you will get many warnings about these in your email, please read this.

3. Conferencing Software for Internet Tutorials
    Our tutorials use CU-SeeMe. This costs under $100 and is audio/video conferencing software that allow audio, video, text, and shared whiteboard and data capability.
4. Using the Software
    Registered students will be given a password to the page containing all essential information about downloading, installing, and configuring CU-SeeMe. This page follows very closely the setup page on Escondido Tutorial Service's site; since Schola rents its operating space on ETS's conferencing server, all information here provided for Schola students will be nearly identical to that followed by ETS students. 
5. What does a Schola tutorial look like on your computer? 
    Below is the main CU-SeeMe 3.1 window as it appears on your desktop. It can be resized so that the chatbox, video window, participant list, or entire window is larger or smaller. Below this is the whiteboard window which appears separately on your desktop. It too can be moved and resized as needed.


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