UW IT introduces Zoom to campus

(Photo taken from Pixabay) A computer lab full of computers.

University of Wyoming’s Information Technology (IT) is offering Zoom web conferencing for all the University faculty, staff and students starting this week.

IT lab assistant, Akriti Subedi, said, “Zoom has been introduced for the provision of videos, phones and other conferencing services for the benefit of the students and teachers on campus.”

Zoom, a private company headquartered in San Jose, CA, can be used for “virtual office hours, student study groups, board meetings, guest speakers and in many other ways,” Subedi said.

Zoom is intergrated with WyoCourses in order to make it available for in-class and online students here at the University, while being mobile-friendly and compatible with PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices.

“This technology has been introduced throughout campus to enable a virtual meeting platform for campus and external users,” Fernando Munoz, lab assistant at IT, said. “Its technology will mostly be useful for online classes and programs.”

Founded in 2011 by a lead engineer from Cisco Systems and its partnership business, WebEx; Zoom aims for equality of software and support across three PC platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux. For cellphone users, they also have apps available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry.

Zoom offers the following features, which are useful to faculty and students on campus:

  1. Zoom Meetings — A collaborative cloud-based video and web conferencing product.
  2. Zoom Meeting Connector — An extension of cloud infrastructure that allows for video, voice and content sharing hosted on a customer’s on-site private cloud.
  3. Zoom Rooms — A low-cost telepresence interface running on Apple products such as the Mac Mini and iPad. Zoom Rooms have also incorporated the capability to run on PC hardware, touch screen compatibility and support for three-screen setups.
  4. Zoom Video Webinar — A version of Zoom Video Conferencing that allows up to 100 people to actively participate in a webinar with an audience of up to 10,000 passive participants.

Zoom Services does not record visual or audio content, unless a cloud recording is requested by a customer during a meeting. However, various information is stored concerning each meeting such as meeting titles, duration, visualizations, actual presence time of the participants, written messages and shared files.

“I think the integration of this technology is a great addition for our University,” computer Science major, Venkat Madhyanam, said. “This service will definitely allow for better classroom structures and interactions. I believe it will also allow us a better understanding of the technology itself and how we can use it even outside of school.”

Another student at UW, Prapti Giri, said, “For someone who takes a lot of online classes this seems like a great service to have. It will definitely allow me to understand my classes better and be on top of my work.”

Zoom can be accessed at (http://uwyo.zoom.us) or via the Zoom icon on WyoWeb (http://wyoweb.uwyo.edu) by logging in with your UW username and password.

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