Information, Technology & Consulting

BlueJeans Video Conferencing Arrives at Dartmouth

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Associate director of ISTS Bill Nisen sends a BlueJeans invitation to PhD student Aarathi Prasad by entering her email address.

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Aarathi clicks on the link and enters a BlueJeans conference with Bill.

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Bill shows Aarathi a Word document while he talks to her online. “It’s great because you can share both your screen and video," Aarathi says.

When associate director of ISTS Bill Nisen was looking for a way to share ideas with off-campus connections, he contacted Video Service Specialist Jim Goodrich, account manager for Dartmouth’s BlueJeans video conferencing service.

“People want tools that are easy to use,” Goodrich says. “BlueJeans is one of the more robust and reliable desktop conferencing tools I’ve used, yet it’s so simple.”

Since he received a BlueJeans account, Nisen has used the service at least once a week to connect with researchers at other universities as part of an ISTS health initiative. He also holds online conferences to give PowerPoint presentations with cyber security colleagues; connect with parents who want to send their children to ISTS summer programs; and take government officials and cyber security professionals on tours of the organization’s website.

“BlueJeans’ versatility allows me to have an unlimited communications medium,” Nisen says. “The ease of integration from my desktop into video conference is spectacular.”

Learn how a Dartmouth staff member uses BlueJeans.

What’s in a name?

BlueJeans may seem a surprising product name. According to the service’s promotional video, its developers saw themselves taking a cumbersome activity—videoconferencing—and turning it into something as comfortable, casual, and easy as donning a favorite pair of jeans.

Dartmouth users simply launch BlueJeans meetings right through their browsers. Then, they invite anyone from inside or outside the institution to meetings. All participants receive a URL that launches a meeting within their browser. Once they “start” a meeting, they can automatically send and receive video. They can use the same interface to record meetings, share content, send group chats, and change viewing layouts.

David Kotz ’86, Champion International Professor of Computer Science, primarily uses BlueJeans for a large group webinar once a month.

“I like that I can set up a scheduled meeting, hand over the screen to one other person, and record the whole thing to an mp4 file for archiving and sharing with those who could not attend,” he says.

Kotz recently started using the service for weekly conference calls with two other individuals. The group used Skype in the past, but Skype stopped support for Linux, which was problematic for one user. Google Hangouts also didn’t work for the group. BlueJeans became the solution.

“The main thing I like about BlueJeans is the clean and simple interface—much better than WebEx, clearer even than Hangout,” Kotz says.  “I like the arrive-when-you-can approach much better than the one-person-dials-all-the-others model of Skype. I like that BlueJeans seems to work very well across all platforms and browsers, and does not require the installation of software or signing up for an account.”

How to get it

Both Kotz and Nisen encourage Dartmouth colleagues to use BlueJeans. They find the service’s ease of use and consistent high quality audio and video superior to other videoconferencing options. “It’s just been a wonderful productivity tool. We use it with students, colleagues, people who have limited computer skills, and it just seems to work,” Nisen says.

BlueJeans is available to Dartmouth staff and faculty.

Interested in trying BlueJeans? Set up your account through self service.

Contact Jim Goodrich with any questions.

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