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# Video Conferencing and Mailing Lists
# Video Conferencing and Communications
## Video Conferencing
### Necessary Hardware / Connectivity
* Internet access (recommended at least 1MB upload/download speed)
* Webcam (or one built into your computer)
* Noise canceling microphone (or headphones with a built-in mic for individuals)
**A noise cancelling speakerphone** is recommended when connecting through a computer as a group for class (as opposed to a Polycom system). We currently [recommend this speakerphone](http://business.logitech.com/en-us/product/mobile-speakerphone-p710e-business), but see the [Fab Lab Inventory](http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/fab/inv.html) for the latest recommendation.
### Class Location (MCU / MCUC)
Prep Meetings, Classes, and Recitation will be held in the video conferencing platform [Bluejeans](https://bluejeans.com).
All classes and most meetings will take place on the CBA MCU.
Blujeans supports meeting recording, text chat, content sharing, and multiple participants. It connects to multiple and enables users to connect to meetings from various devices including Android, IOS devices and web-based.
* The address of the MCU is 18.85.8.48
The specific Bluejeans address for classes will be shared with the Nodes when the course starts.
* The address of the MCUC is 18.85.8.50
Simultaneous videoconferencing among many remote users is essential for Fab Academy. This system allows people to talk directly to all the other participants, including Professor Neil Gershenfeld, and ask questions during our Wednesday lecture sessions.
* Fab Academy Lectures are held in room 4 "Class" (4@18.85.8.48, 4@18.85.8.50).
* The PINs are distributed via the [Instruct Mailing List](http://lists.fabcloud.io/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/instruct).
### Necessary Hardware / Connectivity
### Recommended Software
* Internet access (recommended at least 1MB upload/download speed)
The CBA maintains a [detailed list of compatible video conferencing clients](http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/video/) and MCU technical connection details.
* Webcam (or one built into your computer)
Mac and Windows are encouraged to use Cisco Spark Web client.
* Echo-canceling USB speakerphone
An up-to-date tutorial on connecting to the MCU using Linphone from an Ubuntu installation can be found [here](http://beachlab.org/fab2016/video.html).
**NOTE: You may want to connect to 1@18.85.8.48 to test your audio and video.** "1" is the general Fab Lab channel and there are usually several labs connected that can help you test your audio and video.
### Video Conferencing Etiquette - IMPORTANT!
### Here’s what a MCU is and how it works:
Because everyone connected can hear each other, it is vital that you are muted when joining a conference. By default, you'll be muted in the platform and so remember to UN-MUTE (ONLY) WHEN SPEAKING
"Simultaneous videoconferencing among three or more remote points is possible by means of a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU). This is a bridge that interconnects calls from several sources (in a similar way to the audio conference call)." - [Wikipedia Entry](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videoconferencing#Multipoint_videoconferencing)
Failure to mute will cause a disruptive feedback echo that will SERIOUSLY interfere with the audio quality, making class unpleasant. Neil can see who is the source of the problem and will mute you, so failure to mute is potentially embarrassing. Practice connecting prior to class.
This means that you can talk directly to all the other participants, including Professor Neil Gershenfeld, and ask questions during our Wednesday lecture sessions.
Similarly, make sure that your camera is on and that all class participants are visible (if possible). Light the participants from the camera side and eliminate back lighting as much as possible, so everyone connected can see you.
### Video Conferencing Etiquette - IMPORTANT!
Because everyone connected to the MCU can hear each other, it is vital that you mute your microphone when joining a conference and UN-MUTE ONLY WHEN SPEAKING. [See video for how to do this](http://youtu.be/cIdom9a9dCg).
## Communications
Failure to mute will cause a disruptive feedback echo that will SERIOUSLY interfere with the audio quality, making class unpleasant.. Neil can see who is the source of the problem and will mute you, so failure to mute is potentially embarrassing. Practice connecting prior to class.
**Since last year, we have set the default to mute as you join. **This means that you will be required to unmute yourself not only on your local system (usually by clicking a microphone logo) but also on the MCU bridge before anyone can hear you. To do this, use the keypad in your Polycom remote or software application to** ****input the number 6 followed by an asterisk (*).**
Every Fab Academy cycle is organized in our [Fabcloud](https://gitlab.fabcloud.org/academany/fabacademy) and named after the year.
This helps us collect all projects in a single place, host the Fab Academy and Fab Lab Network's websites and provide a tool for collaboration and communication between people and labs.
We use [Gitlab](https://about.gitlab.com/) to organize all the content related to Fab Academy in a distributed way.
Similarly, make sure that your camera is on and that all class participants are visible (if possible). Light the participants from the camera side and eliminate back lighting as much as possible, so everyone connected can see you.
## Email Lists
**What we do with Gitlab?**
As previously noted with regards to video conferencing, etiquette should also be observed in email conversations. Several email lists exist in order to make communication between the different groups within the Fab Academy structure easier and more organised.
Keep all student files under version control; track groups of students, labs, instructors and staff; publish the Fab Academy website; publish and host lab and student pages; publish documents like this Handbook; track what needs to be done and communicate using Issue trackers; take meeting notes using Markdown; and build sites and documentation using static site generators.
**class[year]@fabacademy.org**
So, every Fab Academy cycle students are added as Member to the following Gitlab Groups:
Academany > Fab Academy > Your year of enrollment > Your Lab > Your Lab Instructor Groups
So students can both Document and Publish their work, and Communicate with the rest of the group. This communication happens through Issue Trackers.
This is an email alias shared by all current Fab Academy students. [class14@fabacademy.org](mailto:class14@fabacademy.org) is for the 2014 class, [class15@fabacademy.org](mailto:class15@fabacademy.org) for 2015, etc.
All of these concepts will be explained to you on the first class’ sessions.
**instruct@fabacademy.org**
**What is an Issue Tracker?**
The GitLab Issue Tracker is an advanced and complete tool for tracking the evolution of a new idea or the process of solving a problem. [Gitlab Docs](https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/project/issues/)
This is an email alias shared by all current Fab Academy Instructors.
It allows communications between the different groups (students, Instructors, Faculty, Global Evaluators) within the Fab Academy structure easier and more organized.
**globaleval@fabacademy.org**
Students will be able to:
* Communicate with the class / Replacing emails
This is the email alias for the Global Evaluation Committee tasked with grading.
* Track your personal tasks (in your projects)
**alumni@fabacademy.org**
* Use them as Kanban boards
This is an email alias onto which all graduates are entered upon completing Fab Academy.
* Assign issues to milestones
**Add Youself**
If would like to be added to any of these lists please manage your subscription [here](http://lists.fabcloud.io/cgi-bin/mailman/options/instruct). Remember that the instruct list is only for Instructors, Gurus and Staff so while you may add yourself to the list you will not be approved if you are not one of the above. Same applies to global eval etc.
### Communication's Etiquette
**Email List Etiquette**
When using the Class Project, every member of the class (students, Instructors, Faculty, Global Evaluators) will receive an email notification each time somebody submits or comments an Issue. For this reason, please be cautious in the way you use this tool:
The following email lists are high-volume lists. Students should first discuss their issue with their Local Instructor or Remote Guru if possible.
* Users should first discuss their questions with their Local Instructor or Remote Guru if possible, before posting an Issue
**Custom Email Lists**
* Users should first check if the question/problem/comment was raised before in the Issues List
As an instructor or supernode Guru you may also choose to create your own alias in order to facilitate internal communication between your student’s (remote and local) and even yourself or your staff. i.e.: academy@fabLabbcn.org
* Close issues when the question/problem/comment is answered/solved/received
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