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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Introduction to Oovoo, a web-based tool to facilitate communication among teachers, students, parents, the staff and the community

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on Oovoo, a web-based tool that  can facilitate communication among teachers, students, parents, staff and the Jewish community around the globe.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads as well.

Note: Although Oovoo can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: Oovoo can also be used in a face to face classroom without adding the online component.

What is Oovoo?

According to Wikipedia, here is an explanation of OoVoo:

Oovoo is a proprietary instant messaging client developed by ooVoo LLC. for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.[1] It was released in 2007, and is similar to Skype and Apple's iChat. Calls can be recorded in real-time and six-way video chatting is supported.[2] ooVoo provides real-time comments and warnings about performance and usage, and has a connection speed display that gives an indication of latency.

OoVoo allows registered users to communicate through free instant messaging, voice and video chat. ooVoo conferencing software enables high quality video and audio calls with up to twelve locations at the same time – six on video and six on phone; high resolution video and desktop sharing; and PC or Mac to phone calls to landlines and mobile phones for a fee.
  • Video calls (free) – Video chat with one person at a time.
  • Video conferencing (charge) – Allows users to start a group video chat up to 6 people in a call, plus the ability to add in 6 phone participants.
  • Web video chat (free) – Browser-based video call allows the creator of the web chat to invite non-ooVoo users into the call via email, instant messaging, or social network.
  • Video messaging (free) – Video messages up to 1 minute long (5 minutes for a fee) can be recorded and sent to another user, to email or shared on YouTube.
  • Instant messaging (free) – Multi-party text chat with its own instant messenger client. IM chat is supported at any time, as well as during a live video call.
  • Phone calls (charge) – Low-fee ooVoo to phone calls – to landlines and mobile phones to over 50 countries worldwide.
  • Desktop sharing (charge) – Allows users to share their screen live during a video call.
  • File sharing (free) – Send large files (up to 25MB) to any ooVoo contact quickly and securely.
  • Video call recording (free) – Record and store video calls to share or reuse at a later date.

    Where is  Oovoo  located on the web?

    Where can you find helpful  tutorials on how to use Skype?

    Click on the links below for tutorials on Oovoo:

    On the next post we will share how Oovoo can be used to promote learning.

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