How Important is Face to Face? A review of Blue Jeans’ Meeting Space

by Heather Kallevig

A Review of Blue Jeans’ Meeting Space

As globalism takes over our political and economic world and the technological cyberspace stretches its influence into the global village, we see many changes in how we get together. People are building romantic relationships online, conducting job interviews via skype, and inviting high-level guest speakers into their classroom on a Smart Board. Technology has allowed us to connect with individuals we may never have met in the past and is changing the ways we interact. Many experiences and decisions that once required a face-to-face meeting are disregarding that specification in exchange for the novelty, ease, and flexibility of the Internet.

Internet websites and applications offer many advantageous solutions to the way we conducted “things” in the past. To see the evolution of Internet usability, examine how online education has evolved. At first students were receiving books and turning their homework in through the mail, then e-mail. Later they began taking quizzes online followed by assignments and online texts. Next people began meeting online using programs like eLive. Today the options for online classes are innumerable and user-friendly. I have experience as a student and teacher in all the different levels listed above and am well-versed in the advantages and disadvantages of each. Recently I was able to use a new program in my social media research course. The program is called Blue Jeans.

Rather than get together late on a Monday evening, we decided to meet remotely using Blue Jeans. This is the easiest online meeting space I have used so far. The microphone and speakers worked great, the video was clear, and screen sharing was easy. Rather than seeing one person at a time, I was able to see a revolving set of nine squares of my classmates. The nine nodding heads did sometimes remind me of the opener to The Brady Bunch, but I appreciated the varied screen. All in all it was a good program and I enjoyed attending class in my PJs from the comfort of my own home. This is most definitely a tool I would use a second time around.

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