Agriculture Communication


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Webinars and Online Meetings

We have access to four primary tools for programs, meetings and other events being delivered from a distance: Microsoft Skype for Business, Collaborate, the Interactive Video Network (IVN) and conference calling.

Here's a brief description of each tool, along with some ways each can be used, followed by a comparison of the features of each tool.

Microsoft Skype for Business ("Lync" for Mac users)

With Skype for Business instantly communicate with NDUS colleagues, students and other people around the world. It includes text chat, voice or video calls, and online meetings. You can use Skype for Business from nearly any computer or mobile device, on campus or anywhere in the world you have Internet access.

Primary use: The primary use for Skype for Business online meetings is meetings with NDUS colleagues or others with an Microsoft Office 365 account.


Collaborate is a comprehensive online learning and collaboration tool designed specifically for education. You can create live webinars accessible to anyone with a computer or mobile device, and Internet access.

Primary use: The primary use for Blackboard Collaborate is webinars intended for the public.

Interactive Video Network (IVN)

IVN connects videoconference rooms with other videoconference sites across the state and beyond. Additionally, IVN provides the option to connect to conferences through a variety of platforms including desktop video software, web browser and audio/telephone systems.

Primary use: The primary use for IVN is for meetings or programs where at least one party (often the presenter) needs a physical meeting space or classroom.

Basic Conference Calling

A 1-800 number is available for basic audio only conference calls connecting land lines and/or mobile phones. Contact to reserve.

Primary use: The primary use for basic conference calling is to provide a toll-free number in situations when participants do not have web conferencing capabilities and are calling in from out of state.

FeatureSkype for BusinessCollaborateIVNConference Call
Video Yes Yes Yes No
Audio Yes Yes Yes Yes
Chat Yes Yes Yes, but only for desktop participants No
Recording Yes Yes Yes No
Polls Yes Yes No No
Screensharing Yes Yes Yes No
Transfer files Yes No No No
Breakout rooms No Yes Yes No

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