Video Teleconferencing and the Blue Jeans Network
We have some exciting news from the Technology Institute! In our search for ways to assist faculty in the classroom, we stumbled upon a service for video teleconferencing, or VTC. Previously, VTC required all parties involved in the virtual meeting to have the same hardware, like Polycom, or use the same software, like Skype, to communicate. Hardware routers, called bridges, were a necessary purchase by an institution wishing to communicate with other institutions. But, digital technology is literally moving and changing at the speed of light. The new Blue Jeans Network offers a software based bridge which allows VTC systems of different makes to correspond with each other. In fact, VTC systems can now communicate with Skype or Google Chat which was quite difficult to do before.
Think of the possibilities with your own courses, meetings, or research projects. Using this software based bridge, you could teach your class here and have students check in from another institution. You could schedule a research collaboration meeting for your graduate students here along with your colleague’s graduate students at their university. Or, if you are doing a search to a fill a position, imagine being able to have the whole committee interview possible candidates virtually. No travel is necessary and your search committee can meet as many candidates as hours in the day. In fact, this system was used previously for such purpose on campus. Finally, would you want to schedule a mini-conference or seminar and have multiple departments or institutions attend without the worry of parking or lodging or meals?
Because of the successful uses of VTC and the Blue Jeans Network we have already seen on campus, the Technology Institute purchased a university wide license for your use. Go to http://bluejeans.com and give it a try. After the 14 day trial, if you feel it would be something your unit could use, give us a call or email.
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