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On Tuesday 30th April I presented on Zoom and Panopto, with a focus on how to use either of those tools to record in DePaul's classrooms. On this page is a video that recaps the presentation, resources, and a slide handout.

There has been interest and discussion on the classroom of the future, essentially a multimedia environment in which students and faculty interact both physically and virtually.

DePaul is currently investigating the design of such classrooms. One conceptual design that builds upon a model that has worked well for our synchronous online classes. The classroom has two cameras - facing students, and the presenter. Two screens at the front show local and remote content to the students, two screens at the rear of the room mirror the content for the presenter as they teach. The presenter’s desk also has two screens, and the room is equipped with ceiling-mounted microphones.

All this is good, but faculty want to be able to record in the classroom, and bring in remote participants virtually to their classes. They need this now, and the solution needs to be mobile.

So, let’s break this down into hardware and software.


With the portable hardware options we are going to look at what might fit in a blazer pocket, and then what you could fit in satchel.

The recommended webcam is a Logitech C922. Reliable and sturdy. You should not pay any more than $70 for this.

So, how good is the audio? I walked around a typical DePaul classroom. Speaking normally, I can be heard from all parts of the classroom. The microphone on the webcam is good enough to videoconference or record a class.

So, do you need a tripod? And if so, which type?

You could get away without a tripod. The webcam has a flat base, which also articulates as a clamp to fit on a monitor. However, a desktop tripod is recommenced.

If you don’t have room on the desk, or want something closer to a traditional tripod allowing you to move the camera away from the desk, then this selfie stick might work for you. It has a tripod stand, that creates stability:

College of Business Faculty Kit

I’ve put together a more over-developed package that fits in a bag. This bag is ready to be borrowed by College of Business faculty, and contains these seven items:

Timberland Bag

1. Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN-BK Compact Action Tripod (Black)
Cost: $64.88
NOTE: The tripod has a quick-release plate that allows the microphone and webcam to pack conveniently in the bag.

2. Dual Camera Photo Bracket Mount 2 Twin Cameras for 3D 3-D Stereo Stereoscopic Photography
Cost: $16.95
NOTE: This allows both the microphone and webcam to connect to the quick-release plate on the tripod.

3. Blue Snowball USB Microphone (Gloss Black)
Cost: $69.99

4. CAMVATE Convert Screw Adapter,1/4"-20 & 3/8"-16 and 5/8-27
Cost: $6.95
NOTE: This allows the microphone to attach to the bracket.

5. Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera
Cost: $69.50

6. Two AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Extension Cable - A-Male to A-Female - 9.8 Feet (3.0 Meters)
Cost: $6.71 each
NOTE: This extends the USB cables for the webcam and microphone

7. Home 'n' Office Small Drop Over Cord Protector - 30" Straight Piece (yellow)
Cost: $22.50

Although the Logitech webcam works well, the Blue Snowball USB microphone provides slightly better audio, and captures sound in 360 degrees. a dual brackets allows two devices to be mounted on one tripod. The USB cables for the webcam and microphone are relatively short, so extension cables allow for better placement in the classroom. And to prevent accidents, a cord protector can be placed over cables running along the floor.

A PDF set of instructions can be downloaded here.

And if the kit is unavailable, there is an alternative: Information Services has a webcam and tripod that you can request.


So that was the hardware. With the classroom upgrades to Windows 10, every podium PC in the classroom now has Zoom and Panopto installed.

Zoom isn’t the only option for videoconferencing. There is also Skype and Google Hangouts.

Skype has two versions: Skype for Business (which integrates with DePaul’s Outlook system), and regular Skype. You won’t find Skype for Business on the DePaul podium PC image, so would have to run this from a laptop. Skype for Business’ future is uncertain and might be rebranded or absorbed into another product with the development of Microsoft Teams. Regular Skype is not installed on classroom podium PCs, so you would have to run from either a USB drive or from a laptop. Zoom is clearly a more convenient option.

We have a significant number of DePaul faculty who heavily use Google applications. Google G Suite is now available to all current DePaul faculty and staff, which makes Hangouts an option for some. However, the tool is not as usable or resilient as Zoom.

So this leads us back to Zoom as the recommended videoconferencing solution for the classroom. Zoom’s professional version is available to all current DePaul faculty and staff. Students and remote presenters do not require credentials to connect to a Zoom session (they just click on a link that you share). Zoom seasons can record to the Cloud, and Zoom is installed on all classroom podium PCs. I think it is insanely easy to use, and it can interoperate with existing Polycom systems.

The company was founded in 2011, went public April, 2019 (valued at $16 billion) and the software supports up to 500 concurrent video participants. Certain DePaul videoconference rooms are being updated to “Zoom Rooms” - this is a version of Zoom that replaces traditional videoconference rooms and requires specific hardware. When scheduling, you can create meetings via Outlook calendar, D2L, or web browser.

The recommended process is to do this via Outlook with the Zoom plugin. This ensures that your meetings show up in your DePaul calendar. You can easily invite participants via email. However, the web client allows you to schedule the same way (but you don’t have the integration with your calendar or email). Lastly, you can schedule from inside your D2L course.

When scheduling a Zoom meeting, here are the recommended settings:

  • Host Video: Off (gives you privacy before meeting starts)
  • Participant Video: On
  • Mute participants upon entry: Yes
  • Audio: Both (allows for connection from regular telephones)
  • Enable join before host: Yes (participants don’t have to wait)
  • Record meeting automatically: Yes - In the Cloud

After scheduling a meeting, you can copy and paste the invitation to you meeting attendees (students, remote presenters). The meeting invitation has 4 parts:

  1. The URL or Web address. This is a clickable link that initiates the videoconference. This is what the majority of your students will use.
  2. A regular telephone number (with the option to use local overseas telephone numbers) that a student can use if their computer does not have a microphone and speakers, or if they are without a computer or smartphone. The meeting ID allows them to connect to your meeting.
  3. H.323/SIP. This is information that a someone using a traditional videoconference room system (i.e. Polycom) would use to connect.
  4. The meeting ID used for telephone or H.323/SIP connections.

As you can see, Zoom works with pretty much any communication device.

If you do need to connect to a room system you can call out to an IP address, or the room system can connect to the Zoom IP address and use your meeting ID to authenticate.

The Zoom interface is straightforward. The main presenter’s content takes precedence, and remote attendees are seen in smaller video windows. You can mute audio, stop video, or share your screen.

If you are planning to record in the Cloud, here are the recommended changes that provide flexibility in the type of recordings you can later share with your students:

  • In the Zoom web interface, click on “Settings.
  • Click on “Recording.
  • Under “Cloud Recording” change these settings:
    • Check: Record active speaker with shared screen
    • Check: Record gallery view with shared screen
    • Check: Record active speaker, gallery view and shared screen separately
      • Check: Active speaker
      • Check: Gallery view
      • Check: Shared screen
    • Uncheck: Record an audio only file
    • Check: Save chat messages from the meeting / webinar

Advanced cloud recording settings
  • Uncheck: Add a timestamp to the recording
  • Uncheck: Display participants' names in the recording
  • Check: Record thumbnails when sharing
  • Check: Optimize the recording for 3rd party video editor
  • Check: Audio transcript
  • Check: Save panelist chat to the recording
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The experience of sharing your screen in the classroom environment looks like this, with a floating window for Zoom videoconference controls at the top, and video preview at the side. You can hide the video preview if this is distracting.

There are two notable extras that Zoom has, the ability to poll remote participants and to assign them to breakout rooms.

If you are using Zoom from your desktop, you can also apply a soft focus filter to your webcam image.

But for classroom use, this is the way you would connect:

  • Log into the classroom PC with your Campus Connect username and password.
  • Click on Windows icon.
  • Click on “Zoom.”
  • Click on “Sign In.”
  • Click on “Sign in with SSO.”
  • Enter “depaul” as company domain (to complete
  • Enter your Campus Connect username and password.
  • If asked to switch apps (and open “Zoom Meetings”) click “Yes.
  • Choose “Join Audio by Computer.
  • Share screen, check 2 options (share computer sound, optimize for full-screen video clip).

If you have recorded to the Cloud, you will receive an email from Zoom with links to download the recorded video, as well as optional audio-only files and a Web Video Text Tracks file (that contains a transcription of the recording).

The transcript is fairly accurate, and is created by

The video recording will show the desktop that you shared and content captured via the webcam.

The VTT file can be useful if you want a textual record of the class, but could also be used if you are conducting interviews or research.

Chances are that you may want to edit your video recording before sharing with students. Basic editing can be done with either Panopto or the free tool MPEG Streamclip.

To edit with Panopto, upload your video via the “Insert Stuff” button in D2L. Once uploaded, the Panopto video editor allows you to truncate your recording. You can use the "Insert Stuff" button again to publish your video in D2L.

With MPEG Streamclip, you can make the in and out points of your video, trim and save.Then you would upload to D2L via "Insert Stuff," and publish your video.

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So this brings us to Panopto. Not a videoconference tool, but a recording and editing tool. This is found on all classroom Podium PCs, and can be used to record your classes.

  • Log into the classroom PC with your Campus Connect username and password.
  • Click on Windows icon.
  • Click on “Panopto.
  • Primary Source: Logitech HD Pro Webcam
  • Audio: Microphone (Logitech HD Pro Webcam)
  • Quality: Ultra
  • Capture: PowerPoint
  • Capture: Main Screen

The recording environment is quite straightforward. Simply chose your video and audio sources, set quality as Ultra, capture PowerPoint and Main Screen as secondary sources and then record. At the end of your class, stop the recording, and then upload to D2L. Later, you can add your recording to your D2L class via "Insert Stuff."

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best tool to record in the classroom? Zoom or Panopto?
Both work, and typically the best tool is the one you are most comfortable using. Ultimately, Panopto will be the better choice for most people.

What webcam do you recommend?
The Logitech C922.

Can I use Zoom with D2L?
Yes - instructions are on the Teaching Commons website.

Are there instructions on how to edit with Panopto?
Yes - on the Panopto Support website.

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