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A number of the things I do with Connect are related to presenting at all. It's a great collaboration tool, and in order to use it that way, I am going to set my meeting room up in some very specific ways. So what I want to do here is show you how I would set that room up to use as a meeting room and some of the tips and tricks that I've learned along the way to make it easier for my participants to be a part of that room. So the first thing that we'll need to do is create a room, and although it's called a Meeting, in this case, I'm really thinking of it as a room. So I am going to go ahead and select New Meeting, and we are just going to call this Tim's Room.
I'm actually going to allow anyone who has the URL for the meeting to enter the room because it's a room that I'm going to meet with a variety of different people and so I don't have to worry about that. I'm not going to include any Audio Conferencing with this meeting because in general, I'll probably use some type of conferencing solution, but again, I don't want to try and integrate it, I want it to be as easy as possible for people to come into the room. So I won't include anything and then I can make decisions later about how to talk to those people.
I'm going to click Next just to point out that for this type of meeting room, I don't generally invite transient attendees into the room by creating an account for them and then making them a participant in the room, but often times rooms like this are used for multiple purposes. So I might have a colleague, for example, Olivia, whom I want to invite into the room and give her specific access. So I'm going to select her name and click Add. And right now she's a participant, but if she's going to meet with people in my room, in my absence, I might like to select her name and set her permissions so that she herself is a host.
What that means is that she can enter the room as a host without my presence and that means that the room is a lot more flexible as a result. So I'll click Finish. Now at this point, my room is configured. I'm going to go ahead and enter it. Because they are going to be a lot of people in this room that I don't know, or that I'm only working with briefly, or that I'm working with for the first time, I didn't want to have to create User Accounts on my system for them, but I do want to able to collaborate with them. For example, I might open up a Whiteboard and start a Whiteboard session.
In order so that I don't have to try and manage them individually by promoting them or creating user accounts to promote them or whatever, I'm going to select from the Meeting menu, Manage Access & Entry, and I'm going to Auto-Promote Participants to Presenters. Now what that means is that anyone who comes into this meeting room is automatically going to be made a presenter. So I will go ahead and turn that off because that's okay. That's exactly what I want. Now, it occurs to me that I might want some level of protection to this room. I don't want people just to be able to come in anytime they want because I might be in here having a confidential meeting with somebody, sort of like, I might need a lock on a door, if I were meeting in an office.
So what I am going to do is Close the meeting room up. I am going to go back to the Meeting Information, and I'm going to select Edit Information. What I want to do is somehow put a lock on this door, so that you have to have a password that I can create on-the-fly and give to people when I want them to come in to the room. And if I scroll down, I can see that there really isn't any way to do that. Well as an administrative function, I am going to click on Administration, and I'm going to click on Users and Groups, because among the Edit Login and Password Policies, there is a little secret option hidden down here called Enable Meeting Host to Enforce a Pass Code for Room Access.
And I am going to select this and click Save. Now I am going to go back to my Meeting Room, and Edit Information, and notice when I scroll down now, there is a Users Must Enter Room Pass Code. If I don't select this and leave it open, then anyone can come into the room. However, if I'm about to go into a meeting that is confidential, I can jump into my portal, select this, and just add a password that I give out my audience.
Click Save to save those changes. Now, I am going to copy this, and I am going to close the browser window, and I want you to see what that looks like for someone who is entering the room as a guest. So I will open up my browser, going to paste that URL in, hit Return. I'm going to Enter as a Guest. I'll enter my name but I have to have the room pass code to enter the room. If I am a host in the room, which I am, I can enter my Login and my Password for the server, but I still have to have the Room Passcode in order to get into this room. And click enter room. Now of course if you forget the Room Passcode that you've applied, you can always go into the Portal, go in to the Meeting Room, and Edit the Meeting Information to turn that off or to change the password.
So you are not going to get yourself locked out of your own room, but to enter the room this way, you will actually need that little password. So what I've just done is, I've created a room that essentially has a nice little lock on the door. People can come into the room, they don't have to have an account on the system, but they do need that little password. So it's a little measure of security. And that's how you can use a Connect Meeting Room as sort of an actual room by setting it up with a little bit of authentication and allowing people into the room. Once they come in, they'll be promoted to full-blown presenters, so that they can have access to Whiteboards, and the Chat, and presenting materials, and all the stuff that you might want to do during a collaborative session, unlike what participants would be able to do, which is to just sit and watch.
And by setting your room up this way, you're really taking Connect beyond just a tool that's designed to allow you to present information to a truly collaborative web-based tool for working with others in some interesting ways.
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