Baruch College Uses Innovative Video Calling Service Oovoo to Enhance Student and Faculty Engagement

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Franco Arias, a sophomore civil engineering major at Baruch College, demonstrates ooVoo  by communicating with fellow Baruch student Minh Nguyen, a junior finance major.    Oovoo in use

(Left) Franco Arias, a sophomore civil engineering major at Baruch College, demonstrates ooVoo by communicating with fellow Baruch student Minh Nguyen, a junior finance major.
(Right) Close-up screen shot of Nguyen and Arias using ooVoo.

NEW YORK, NY, December 7, 2011- The Baruch College Information Technology department recently launched the Baruch-ooVoo Plan, an online video communication service designed to enhance the academic and social environment at Baruch.

The department identified an opportunity to provide a best-in-class video communication service to the entire College community and eliminate the need for students and faculty to determine if a Baruch user was on Skype, Apple’s iChat or other video chat services.

ooVoo allows up to 12 participants to connect on video calls from a variety of devices. The cross-platform service also allows users to share their desktop for presentations and collaborate on team projects. The ability to text chat, record video calls and file share with multiple parties is what sets ooVoo apart from the competition. The service gives users the flexibility to connect with students or faculty members anywhere, anytime on PCs, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

“With ooVoo, the quality is great and I don’t have to search different systems to find my friends,” said Rebecca Somers, a junior majoring in Finance at Baruch. "I use the desktop sharing feature to work on group projects remotely, and I can record calls to prepare for job interviews and meetings with networking contacts on Wall Street."

Baruch’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Arthur Downing and his team introduced the video communication service in the 2011-12 academic year. “This significant investment in world class video communication benefits every student and faculty member as we use new technology to enrich and differentiate the Baruch College experience,” said Dr. Downing. "We’re blazing new trails with cool, fun technology that connects our students and faculty in real-time, and contributes to stronger involvement in the academic and social life at Baruch.”

Baruch has created several labs on campus with private stations where students can use ooVoo to conduct one-to-one study sessions or group video calls with up to 12 participants simultaneously. Dr. Downing and the IT team are also developing ooVoo calling zones, or social hot spots, in student spaces.

ooVoo is available to all Baruch students and faculty to facilitate campus involvement and connectivity. This includes access to ooVoo video calling for student work group sessions, online faculty office hours, as well as academic and career counseling sessions.

Increasing student involvement with campus activities is a challenge for many schools, but administrators at Baruch believe that connecting students & faculty anywhere, anytime with ooVoo’s video-driven technology will enhance the social and academic environment at Baruch. While the program allows students to use the service for social and academic-related communication, Baruch officials believe that video calling will help to enhance student/faculty communications, contribute to students’ academic success, and support job placement programs.

“ooVoo is delighted to partner with Baruch on this unique, video-driven service for students and faculty,” said Philippe Schwartz, CEO at ooVoo. “Some classroom programs in the video chat category are faculty-focused, but the Baruch-ooVoo Plan provides students and faculty with an easy-to-use tool that enhances learning, teaching and social interaction in a way that is linked to the Baruch academic experience.”

The program positions Baruch as an innovator in education technology with an opportunity to promote education firsts in academic & social video and best practices in technology among Baruch’s peer colleges in the U.S.

About ooVoo:

Headquartered in New York, ooVoo provides high quality video chat to 35 million users worldwide. The service is also used by thousands of schools, colleges and other education groups to leverage the power of video-driven communications. More than 65% of ooVoo users are under age 25 and 50% of users hang out with friends on ooVoo every day. ooVoo’s cloud-based technology enables consumers, businesses and schools to experience real-time video calls on PCs, Macs and mobile devices with up to 12 users simultaneously. Download ooVoo for free at www.oovoo.com.

CONTACTS:

Manny Romero, Baruch College, 646-660-6141, Manuel.Romero@baruch.cuny.edu

Bryan Brown, ooVoo, 513-410-4188, bryan.brown@oovoo.com