In these times keeping communication going with your project partners is especially important. Cancelled meetings or workshops can be replaced by online sessions. There are tools that you can use for that. You might already be familiar with distance communication options and maybe some or your colleagues or project partners already make use of the options (or similar) mentioned below. In the below sections you can find information on distance communication tools (free and licensed) and an item on internet connection.
Most of us are familiar with Skype. Skype is a great free tool for distance communication. It supports chat, voice and video calls, conference calls, sharing of screen and sending documents. You can join through the Skype Desktop tool, from the mobile phone app or through a browser. The performance in terms of connection can be a bit less than other tools however.
Google Hangouts is also often used. It offers similar features as Skype. It integrates well with the Google applications and GMail. A description of features can be found here.
Another option is the free version of Zoom. Zoom has an intuitive interface and good performance. With the free version of Zoom you have unlimited sessions with one person and max. 40 minutes with up to 100 participants. Zoom, however, has serious issues with security and privacy and is therefore not recommended as corporate solution.
Zoom User Warning: This Is How Attackers Could Steal Windows Passwords
Zoom faces a privacy and security backlash as it surges in popularity
'Zoom is malware': why experts worry about the video conferencing platform
Some tips to increase security with Zoom: create a link with password
and share this only with people you trust. Use the virtual waiting room
and admit only people you trust.
If you’re looking for a free and 100% Open Source solution Jitsi is a great tool. On your computer it runs from the browser. For the mobile phone there’s an app. It allows video conferencing, chat and screen sharing. It's much safer than Zoom. Read here about the safety of Jitsi. It's very democratic: you can mute all users, but they can only unmute themselves. It has raise hand functionality and you can start a YouTube video in a Jitsi session to watch simultaneously with all viewers. You can record Zoom sessions and they are saved directly into Dropbox.
Many organisations use Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business. There are however other tools available. Find here two options (similar to each other):
If small items (e.g. such as the above mentioned platforms or other options, speaker, microphone) to support your distance communication are beneficial for your project work and this is not supported through your organization, those are eligible costs under your DUPC project and can be invoiced (including receipts) to IHE Delft as part of the normal invoicing procedure.
When working from home, you might not have a stable internet connection and might need data bundles. Sometimes the internet of different providers is needed, because they are all intermittent.
When your authorities advise social distancing, we advise not to invest in modems to connect multiple participants in the same room, but instead choose for individual modems (USB dongles) or use tethering from your mobile phone.
If you experience or have experienced challenges with regards to distance communication please let us know so we can see if the programme can address these challenges.