Using CU-See-Me for Internet Videoconferencing
CU-SeeMe is a popular Internet videoconferencing tool developed by Cornell University. CU-SeeMe is "shareware," and is available for both Macintosh and IBM PC systems. This activity describes how to download, install, and use CU-SeeMe for videoconferencing, and includes references to other resources and information.
- Learn how to download CU-SeeMe.
- Learn about video cameras available for desktop videoconferencing.
- Learn how to install and use CU-SeeMe.
- Learn about reflectors and how they are used in CU-SeeMe videoconferencing.
- Learn where to get more information on CU-SeeMe and Internet videoconferencing in the classroom.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: none.
- Special software requirements: none.
- Internet access: Medium-speed (28,800 BPS via phone) or higher.
CU-SeeMe (pronounced "See You See Me") was developed at Cornell University to support real-time videoconferencing over the Internet for Macintosh and IBM PC computers. CU-SeeMe uses the MBONE (see Activity 1 for a description of this Internet standard) to broadcast and receive video images. Because of a limitation in the Macintosh version of TCP/IP, a reflector is needed to pass along video images to CU-SeeMe computers when more than two people are participating in the videoconferencing session. More information on operating CU-SeeMe and reflectors can be found at the Cornell University FTP site, the White Pine Software Website, and other CU-SeeMe Internet sites (see Internet Resources below).
- Downloading CU-SeeMe: You can get the CU-SeeMe software from a variety of places on the Internet, including the CU-SeeMe FTP site [ftp://cu-seeme.cornell.edu/pub/cu-seeme/] and the White Pine Software Website (see Internet Resources below). Visit one of these Internet sites and download CU-SeeMe onto your computer. There is a version of CU-SeeMe for both Macintosh and PC/Windows computers. You may also want to download and read the "Readme" files associated with CU-SeeMe to learn more about using the software.
- Purchasing a video camera: To use CU-SeeMe, you will need a video camera connected to your computer. There are a variety of digital video cameras available, ranging in price from $100 to $1,000, including the QuickCam from Connectix, Toshiba IK-M28A Desktop CCD Camera, Chinon VCC-620 Color Desktop Video Camera, Howard Enterprises TeleCameras, Videolabs FlexCam, Phillips Video Camera Module, Sony PC-CAM, Canon VIZCAM 1000, PictureTel FlipCam, and Canon VC-C1 mk II. (See Internet Resources below.)
- Installing CU-SeeMe: After downloading the CU-SeeMe software, you will need to install and configure the program on your computer. Start by running the CU-SeeMe installation program.
- Using CU-SeeMe: CU-SeeMe has several windows open on the desktop: a local video window, where you can see the video image coming in from your local camera, other participant video windows, an audio control window, and a talk or chat window. When you first start up CU-SeeMe, you must connect to whomever you will be videoconferencing with, or to a reflector if you are planning to videoconference with more than one person. Use the Connect option off the Conference menu to make the video connection. You need the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer of the person you are connecting with, or the IP address of the reflector your group will be using.
- Reflectors: If you want to have a videoconference with more than one person, you need to set up or use a reflector. A reflector is a dedicated computer that broadcasts and receives video images from more than one CU-SeeMe session. Usually, reflector software will run on a Unix computer, but there are versions now available for Windows/NT and Windows/95 (see Internet Resources below). You can set up your own reflector, if you have a computer available, by downloading the reflector software from the Cornell University FTP site, the White Pine Software Website, or other Internet sites. Once you have a reflector set up, or you have found one someone else has setup that you can use, everyone in the videoconference must connect to that IP address.
- Using CU-SeeMe in the classroom: There is also a variety of useful Websites that describe how you can use CU-SeeMe in the classroom for educational purposes. (See Internet Resources below.) Visit these Websites to get ideas for how you might use videoconferencing in the K-12 classroom.
- Alternatives to CU-SeeMe: There are obviously other videoconferencing products available for use over the Internet, including Apple QuickTime Conferencing, CineVideo/Direct Plugin for Netscape, the Intel ProShare Video System, and Vivo TeleWork-5 from Vivo Software (see Internet Resources below).
- Cornell University CU-SeeMe FTP Site
The official CU-SeeMe File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site where all the CU-SeeMe software and documentation resides.
- CU-SeeMe Audio and Videoconferencing
A Website dedicated to Internet videoconferencing with CU-See-Me.
- CU-SeeMe Cookbook
A cookbook for using CM-SeeMe, including a list of reflectors and resources.
- CU-SeeMe Desktop Videoconferencing
Information on CU-See-Me, including descriptions of terminology, products, etc.
- CU-SeeMe Projects and Reflector Addresses
Examples and descriptions of people using CU-SeeMe, with links to reflectors available for public use.
- CU-SeeMe Schools
A complete resource for teachers who want to use CU-SeeMe in their classroom.
- Elements of an Effective CU-SeeMe Video Conference
Helpful suggestions for operating a CU-See-Me videoconference in the classroom.
- White Pine Software Website
An extended, commercial version of CU-SeeMe is available at this Website.
- Connectix Corporation
Connectix sells the QuickCam, an inexpensive video camera for Macintosh and PC's.
- Desktop Video Cameras
A list of available desktop video cameras with links to descriptions and prices.
- Desktop Videoconferencing Product Survey
A survey of available videoconferencing products with features compared.
- Apple QuickTime Conferencing
Another Internet videoconferencing product from Apple.
A plug-in for Netscape Navigator that supports video transmission over the Internet.
- Desktop Videoconferencing Systems
Another list of videoconferencing systems.
- Videoconferencing in the Classroom
A complete look at videoconferencing for educational purposes.
- Videoconferencing in the Classroom and Library
PacBell maintains a useful set of documents on videoconferencing, with an introduction, example classroom applications, equipment requirements, planning suggestions, and references.
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