Here are the most frequently asked questions we receive by students and faculty.  Also see our policy page for more information.

Watching a video
Audio Recording
Video Recording

Watching a video

Q: How do I watch a video?

Bring your BU Terrier ID or Evergreen card to the checkout window located on the fifth floor of the CAS building to watch a video in one of our carrels.

Instructors may sign out a video for use during class time by checking it out using their Terrier ID.  Instructors wishing to borrow a video for longer than a class period may sign out the video for no longer than five days, with staff approval, however we prefer to sgtream films to instructors via Kaltura rather than borrowing.   Students needing to borrow a video for an in-class presentation should have their instructor make arrangements with the lab ahead of time.

Q: Can I make a reservation ahead of time?

Yes. Check our catalog to see if we have the video. Then fill out the reservation form, or call the lab at 617-353-2640.

Q: My instructor told me to watch a video at the lab, but I don’t see it in your catalog. Do you have it?

Teachers often place video here on temporary reserve for periods of time. If the movie you have been assigned to watch is not in our catalog then it may not be here yet. Check the videos on reserve listing.

Some videos are placed on reserve from the Krasker Film Library. To check their holdings, search the Library website at http://www.bu.edu/library/. A title may have been on reserve at Geddes, but may have been returned.

Q: What is a group showing?

Teachers sometimes schedule multiple screenings of assigned videos in one of our viewing rooms. No need to reserve a space for one of these – just show up. If you can’t make a group showing then you can make a reservation to watch the film on your own time.

Q: How will I know when the the group showings will take place and what videos will be shown?

Teachers usually provide this information to their students. Bulletin boards in the hallways of the Center say what’s playing that day.

Q: My teacher told me I could take DVDs out overnight.

Sorry, we don’t lend videos out. Please have your teacher give us a call so we can clarify the matter.

Q: I belong to a student group. Can I screen videos for official group activities?

Maybe. Your group should bet registered with the Student Activities Office in the Student Union and you’ll need a faculty advisor to sponsor you.

Q: How do I watch a PAL DVD?

We have two stations in the lab that have region-free DVD players. Also, any computer in the lab can play PAL DVDs using VLC player, a software program loaded on all of the Center’s Mac and PC computers. Screening Rooms CAS533B, CAS537A, and CAS537C, and Classrooms CAS530, CAS534 and CAS538 have region-free Blu-Ray/DVD players as well.

Q: Can you stream films online to a course?

No, copyright law does not allow for full films to be made available online for courses without proper permissions being obtained. The Mugar Library has subscribed to a service called Kanopy, which allows for streaming of some films, shorts, and documentaries. The Kanopy website is available at http://bu.kanopystreaming.com/.  Instructors may stream films for face to face teaching and to prepare clips.  See Streaming below.

Audio recording

Q: I am a student and I need to record myself speaking for class. How can I do that?

Our computer lab has computer stations with headsets and microphones. You just need to come to the lab and use RecordPad, an audio recording program. The tutorials section of our website has handouts and instructional videos on using RecordPad.

We also have a more advanced audio editor called Audacity available. The instructions for Audacity are located here.

Q: Can I record myself using my own computer?

If you have a microphone, yes. Either download Audacity from Soundforge, then follow the instructions above, or use the web-based audio recorder, Nanogong, which is located in the lab materials section of the website. Apple Mac OS 10.6 and higher (Snow Leopard/Lion/Mountain Lion) users can also use Quicktime X, which is bundled with the operating system. Choose New Audio Recording from the Quicktime File Menu.

Q: Can I record myself using my iPhone or iPad?

Yes, we recommend downloading RecordPad, an audio recorder that is free for iOS devices. Download it from the App Store.

Q: I am an instuctor, what other options do you have for me?

We have several digital tabletop microphones that you can borrow and use in class. You also can make an appointment to record yourself in the Audio Studio if you need to record selections for the web or an exam.

Video recording

Q: What is a shoot? What are skits?

We call a video recording of a class in the video studio “a shoot”. The recordings of individual or group presentations are “skits.” Instructors can schedule a shoot for their class during class periods. We can provide a camera operator or train you in camera use.

Q: How will I view the shoot?

We can provide a DVD data disc with Quicktime (H.264) files of the individual skits, or upload the files to MyMedia/Kaltura where you can watch them or share them with your students via Blackboard.  We’ll happily train you on how to publish recordings to a Blackboard site.

Q: Can I post video shoots on my blackboard site?

Yes, we can upload the files into MyMedia/Kaltura for you to publish to your Blackboard course.

Q: I want to film my class, but I don’t want to use the studios. What else can I do?

We recommend using the studio if possible due to superior lighting and sound, however we do have 2 small cameras that you may borrow. Both have tripods available. The same delivery options are available.

Q: I was absent from class and I need to make up a shoot. What should I do?

Recordings can only be done during class time. Please have your instructor schedule a make up time during your class.


Q: What computing facilities to you offer?

We have a main computer lab that is open to the BU community. The lab has 18 Windows and 18 Mac computers. Instructors can reserve stations for class use, however the lab is not a teaching lab per se and is not closed during reservations. We also have a three station computer workspace for faculty and graduate students in CAS.

Q: I can’t login to the computers in the lab. What should I do?

You need to link your BU username and kerberos password to the BU CAS Active Directory OU. You can do so by filling out this form online.

Q: Can I print?

Undergraduates are given $2.00 free printing per semester. Graduate Students and Faculty who are teaching a language course are given $50.00 in printing per semester.

Greyscale printing is $.10 per sheet. Duplex printing is available.  Students wishing to add money to their account need to bring cash to the checkout window. Graduate Students and Faculty should see the Director for any additional printing needs.

Q: Can I print using my own laptop?

Yes.  You need to add the lpr/lpd printer called ‘glc-papercut.bu.edu’.  The queue name is “Geddes Lab Printer”.  Windows users need to enable the lpr/lpd print service in the programs and features control panel.  Please note, print quotas still apply.  You won’t be able to see your quota unless you log into a lab computer.

Q: I am an Evergreen student or a visting student. How can I get access to course materials requiring a BU login name?

Visit the IT Help Center at the Mugar Library at 771 Commonwealth Avenue to obtain a BU login name.

Q: How do I type accents?

Here are handouts for Mac OS and Microsoft Office for Windows.

Q: Can I save to the lab computers? Will you keep my documents?

You can save to the lab computers, but you should not use the computers for long term storage. The software we use requires that user accounts be automatically erased any time there is a major software update. Software updates happen automatically without human intervention. You may have materials stored on a desktop for weeks then have it gone overnight.

If you need to save material on one particular computer for a short period of time (a week or so), please contact the Systems Administrator using the contact us link on the bottom of the page to discuss options. If you need long term storage you should obtain a CAS fileserver account.

All BU students and Faculty have a Google Drive account with unlimited storage, please conside storing files there.  (http://drive.google.com)

Q: How about the classroom computers?

The classroom computers in Geddes classrooms are erased to have updates installed periodically throught the semester.  It is best not to store your materials only on the classroom computer. We recommend a Flash drive, a Cloud service (like Dropbox, Google Docs) or the CAS fileserver.

Q: How do I connect to the CAS file server to access a shared folder?

The CAS file server, casfsa.bu.edu, is a server where instructors can share files with each other or have students submit files electronically.

Students should follow the instructions in this PDF to connect to the RS_Courses or MLCL_Courses share.

Instructors should follow the instructions in this PDF to connect to the RS or MLCL share.


Q: What classrooms do you support?

Geddes maintains all of the equipment in CAS 427, 430, 530, 534 and 538. Geddes and CAS IT maintains the computing equipment in the registrar rooms: B252B, B27, 204A, 204B, 218. 233, 235, 323B, 425, 426 and 428.

Learning & Event Technology Services maintains all other rooms and the projection/audio equipment in the registrar rooms.

We are happy to help with all rooms as much as we can.

Q: There is a computer in my classroom, but I can not log in. It wants me to log into AD. What should I do?

You need to have an Active Directory account to log in. Most BU accounts created in the last few years have AD access automatically, but if you’ve been at BU a while you might need to fill out this form before you can login.

Q: In what rooms can I play a PAL DVD?

The screening rooms CAS533B, CAS537A and CAS537C and the classrooms CAS530, CAS534 and CAS538 can play non-US region (PAL) DVDs via the region-free Blu-Ray player. All of the Geddes classrooms can play non-US region DVDs via the VLC media player on the computer.

Q: Is there a list of what is available in every classroom?

Learning & Event Technology Services maintains a database of rooms and their features here. This does not include Geddes classrooms. To see the features in the Geddes classrooms see our Facilities page.