Videoconferencing can be a powerful tool for collaboration, ensuring that a variety of participants from different locations can participate.  Use videoconferencing to hold a colloquium with remote participants, organize a weekly research team meeting, simultaneously broadcast a live stream of an event, or hold virtual office hours.  

Blue Jeans

Blue Jeans is an officially supported tool for video conferencing. UC Berkeley users can sign up for a free Blue Jeans account using CalNet authentication.  Meetings can be scheduled in advance. Participants will receive an email with instructions for joining the meeting well before the meeting begins.  Users can share their screens, upload videos, and text-based chat.  Video conference participants do not need to have a Blue Jeans account. Blue Jeans video conferences can also be recorded.  Recorded video can be shared via a private link or downloaded. If your video needs to modified before publishing (e.g. adding slides or removing portions of conversation), see the video editing resources guide for information about software and facilities available on campus.

Blue Jeans offers a variety of ways for users to connect to meetings, including:

  • Web browser (requires downloading and installing a browser plug-in; this may not be possible on certain institutional computers)
  • Phone call
  • iPhone or iPad app
  • Android mobile app

Live trainings for Blue Jeans are held weekly.  See UC Berkeley’s Blue Jeans page for more information.  Campus Shared Services IT also offers support and troubleshooting for users working with Blue Jeans.

The following options are not supported by Campus Shared Services IT, but are widely used for collaboration.  


Skype is popular software  that allows both video conferencing and audio-only calls. Calls and  to other Skype users are free.  Users can make group calls with up to 25 people. For a fee, users can send text messages and place calls to international phone numbers. Skype is available as a desktop application on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Skype is also offered as an app on a variety of mobile phones and tablet devices.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts are only available for users with Gmail ( accounts.  Video calls can accommodate a maximum of 10 people and allow users to share screens.  Users can also call phone numbers in the US and Canada for free, but a fee is charged for international phone numbers.  Google Hangouts on Air allows users to broadcast video to YouTube.  Hangouts is available as a browser plug-in, and as an iPhone and Android app.

Note: though campus uses Google Apps (e.g. bMail, bDrive), Hangouts is currently not available if you are logged in using a email address.  

Resource Type
Last updated: Apr 4, 2016