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School of Medicine Technology Services

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems,
and Educational Technologies

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems, and Educational Technologies

Web conferences

Using computers or mobile devices to conduct live meetings or presentations over the internet

Web conferences provide real-time, synchronous communication between people via the internet. They can incorporate screen sharing, audio, video, text chat, file storage, whiteboards and more. Audio integration may use Voice-over-Internet-Protocol or a traditional telephone line. The term “webinar” typically refers to an interactive seminar or presentation given over the internet. A “webcast” is a live, streaming event that is viewable via the internet, similar to a broadcast on television. Web conferences are possible on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.


VCU recently began using an enterprise web conference solution, Zoom. SOMTS will offer training and support for Collaborate to SOM faculty and staff in order to make them comfortable and self-reliant with the tool. SOMTS does not provide laptops, cameras, speakers or headphones for web conferencing.

Because Zoom is VCU’s enterprise solution, SOMTS does not offer support for other conferencing software, such as Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting or FaceTime. Skype is not recommended due to security concerns; however, Skype traffic is currently allowed on VCU data networks.

If you or your department want more information about SOM conferencing or are interested in trying Zoom for web conferencing, please contact somedtech-l@lists.vcu.edu.