What is Chime?

AWS Chime is a cloud media service created by Amazon that allows companies to use it within their applications. As Amazon is the world's largest cloud infrastructure provider, the integration with Collaborate Ultra will allow you to have a better audio, video and shared content experience in your next sessions.

And what do you have to do? Just choose to use Chime in your next session. It's right out of the box! That's one of the advantages we get when we decided to integrate with Chime. We now leave the audio and video issues to Amazon's engineers, while we can focus on continuing to support and create solutions for the evolving needs in teaching and learning.


Why integrate Chime?

This may be a bit technical, but we want to let you know why we decided to integrate AWS Chime with Collaborate.

As Amazon has many data centers around the world, sessions using the Chime-based product can access it with the nearest access point, which means that it’s not necessary, in most cases, to communicate with servers in different countries or continents. This will help to have a faster and better experience.

From the users' point of view, nothing has changed in Collaborate Ultra, you'll continue experiencing the interface and functionalities as usual.


How can I start using AWS Chime in my sessions?

You’ll only need to activate the AWS Chime option when you schedule your next session or you can activate it in sessions already created.

For new sessions

  1. From the Scheduler sessions list select Create Session.
  2. Go to the Session Settings tab to set what you need for the new session.
  3. Go to the Multimedia section at the bottom and select Use AWS Chime for audio and video.
  4. Select Create.

 

For sessions already created

  1. From the Scheduler sessions list select the session you want to set.
  2. Go to the Session Settings tab to set what you need for the new session.
  3. Go to the Multimedia section at the bottom and select Use AWS Chime for audio and video.
  4. Turn off anything that isn't currently supported.
  5. Select Save.

How to stop using AWS Chime in your sessions?

You can also stop using AWS Chime for existing sessions, you just need to:

  1. From the Scheduler sessions list select the session you want to set.
  2. Go to the Session Settings tab.
  3. Go to the Multimedia section at the bottom and de-select Use AWS Chime for audio and video.
  4. Select Save.

If you apply this change while a session is running, you must keep the session empty – with no attendees - for 5 minutes for the change to take effect. This also applies when switching from your standard Collaborate sessions to AWS Chime, and from AWS Chime to standard sessions.


What you’ll only find in Chime

Background noise reduction

With the benefits that AWS Chime brings to the quality of calls, you can reduce the background noise from your microphone and bring the focus to your voice, so attendees can hear you more clearly.

To activate Noise Reduction:

'Reduce your microphone background noise' will be disabled by default. Once you activate it, your next session will remember your choice.

  1. In your Collaborate session, go to the right panel and open My Settings.
  2. Open Audio and Video Settings.
  3. Check the Reduce your microphone background noise box.
  4. Start talking!

Others might hear background noise from you again if you change your audio device (microphone) while a session is running, even if the Reduce your microphone background noise option is activated.

Open Collaborate panel with Audio and Video Settings expanded. Reduce your microphone background noise checkbox is marked.

Known features but improved in Chime

Breakout Groups

The already known Breakout Groups feature but enhanced. In Chime you’ll find:

  • When you want to join a particular group, the group list will be collapsed, allowing you to expand group by group with no jumps, to see the list of participants of each expanded group, and to join any group more easily.
  • When switching groups or returning to the main room, your audio and video status will be remembered, so you won’t need to turn them on or off for each move.
  • Specific sounds when groups start, pause, resume, or end, so attendees get a sound cue to check back on the session.

If you use Safari from an iOS device and move between breakout groups, you will need to give the browser permissions to access your audio and video again.

For more details about this feature visit the Breakout Groups documentation for Moderators.

Two parallel screens of the Collaborate panel opened with a breakout groups list. Highlighted is the Collapse All button and the Expand All button which allows to have all the groups listed in a compressed single view.

 

Polls

You still can create Yes/No or Multiple choice polls, show/hide responses, clear them, lock/unlock polls, and all the usual options that the Polling feature has.

For more details, see the complete documentation about Polling.

A poll is active, it shows the main question, number of No Responses, and number of responses for each of the three options.

 

Live close captioning

Live closed captioning provides an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and for students whose native language is different from the moderator's.

Collaborate in Chime allows captioners to specify what language their captions are in.

Collaborate session running, the live close captioning section is open and active, the Captions Language option is highlighted

For general information about Live close captioning.


When Chime is enabled, some settings are not supported, what to do?

When you enable AWS Chime, you may see that in the Session Settings tab, on the top right, the color changes to red and a number appears. This means that some settings should be changed before creating the new session.

Features not yet available in Chime

  • Joining the session by phone dial-in
  • Pointer does not appear in recordings
  • Large scale sessions (more than 250 attendees)

Turn off these features to create your session.


Network status, dynamic adjustments, and permissions

How do I know my Network Connection Status in Chime?

You can check the Network Connection Status for everyone in the session, including yourself. There are two places you can watch the status of network connections.

  • From your profile picture
  • From the Attendees' panel
After opening the profile from the picture in the main toolbar, the network connection status is highlighted showing the quality of the experience.

Look for the connection status indicator and move your pointer over it. From the details that appear you can tell if the connection is good or weak, or if there is no signal.

After opening the profile from the picture in the main toolbar, the network connection status is highlighted showing the quality of the experience.

Look for the connection status indicator and move your pointer over it. From the details that appear you can tell if the connection is good or weak, or if there is no signal.

  • Good signal: can share, see, and hear everything with no issues.
  • Poor signal: may have difficulty hearing, seeing, or sharing anything.
  • No signal: no connection.

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Does Collaborate still adjust dynamically for my internet connection?

Yes, Collaborate still adjusts to the changes in the quality of internet connections. When the network connection is poor for you or someone else, you may stop seeing videos or shared applications. An icon of a video camera with a line through it appears to let you know there is a temporary connection issue affecting the video or shared content.

Learn more about dynamic adjustments

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Should I give audio permissions when using Safari?

Yes, Collaborate in Chime will ask you for permissions when using the Safari browser even if you don’t plan to speak.

  • Select Remember this decision check box.
  • Allow Collaborate to use your microphone.
  • Select Reload Page.

If you don't have any audio device but still want to join the session, please use Google Chrome.

A page where audio permissions are required when using Collaborate in a Safari browser.