As the world adapts to working and studying from home in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, in Ukraine researchers, students and teachers have a new tool to help them: eduMEET. This online meeting tool was rapidly deployed by the Ukrainian Research and Academic Network URAN, with the support of the EU-funded projects EaPConnect, Up2U and GÉANT (GN4-3).
On 18 March, the URAN team was asked to implement eduMEET and immediately started work to provide the service, working throughout the weekend to complete set up and testing. Early the following week, URAN contacted around 225 systems administrators, ITC heads and rectors of research and education institutions and department heads at the Ministry of Education, inviting them to try eduMEET. In the first five days, almost 30 people used the new service.
eduMEET has been developed in the pan-European GÉANT Project and offers simple, easy-to-use functionality that does not overload the processor of computers, phones or tablets. It provides a secure connection of good quality and, currently, does not require registration, which means that it is open to anyone for easy use. It has chat, file sharing and screen demonstration features.
The current eduMEET is a beta version that has been made available at short notice in response to the pandemic and the sudden need for people to be able to meet online to support working and studying from home. Work to develop eduMEET functionality for the longer term is ongoing in the GÉANT Project.
“eduMEET is an easy-to-use GÉANT service, just such a service that our users lacked for convenient daily communication in the process of work,” said Yevhenii Preobrazhenskyi, Executive Director of URAN.
The EaPConnect project aims to create a regional research and education network in the EU’s Eastern Partner countries namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The overall objective is to decrease the digital divide, improve intra-regional connectivity and facilitate the participation of local scientists, students and academics in global research and education collaborations.