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Oovoo

Prepared by: Dan Wood

  1. Description
  2. Getting Started
  3. Activities
  4. User Comments
  5. Reflection and Discussion


Description of Oovoo: (TOP)

Oovoo is a free chat and video communication tool which allow users to send pre-recorded video messages, chat synchronously with other users, and participate in video conferences with up to three users at a time for free. With a paid subscription up to six users can simultaneously video conference and you can record the sessions to share with others. Oovoo, similar to Skype, also allows for calls to land-line or mobile phones.

Getting Started with Oovoo: (TOP)


Simply download Oovoo and set up a free account through the tool once it has been installed. Oovoo is a fairly straight-forward chat/video conferencing tool to begin using right away. There are some subtle features and special options to learn and explore as you become more familiar with the tool. For information on many of the features of the tool check out the Oovoo online tutorials.

For the first 30 days of having the tool/account you are able to use all of the "Super" account features for free. These include six-way video conferencing, the ability to record live video conferences, and many other features. Currently the "Super" account costs about $10/month beyond the 30-day trial. The free account will continue to allow three-way video conferencing, chats, and even video emails on an ongoing basis.

Oovoo is supported on both Mac and Windows, although the Mac version is only in Beta and does not allow all of the features of the Windows version yet.

Key Features:
  • Video Chat
  • Text Chat
  • Recorded Video Messages and Chats*
  • Phone Calls
  • Send Files
  • More...

*The "Standard" (free) account includes unlimited one-minute video messages, the "Super" account includes up to five-minute recorded messages. Recording video chats is a feature of the "Super" account only and includes up to 1000 minutes of video storage and streaming.

The "Standard" account includes up to 500 minutes of phone calls to landline or mobile phones in the US or Canada. The "Super" account includes unlimited calls.

Activities with Oovoo: (TOP)


Individual learning activity for Oovoo:

Once you have downloaded Oovoo and set up your free account, trying recording a sample video of yourself and emailing it to another Cadre member. Perhaps your video email could be an invitation to a synchronous Oovoo session to experiment with this fun and easy video conferencing tool. Here is a link to a sample of a video that I recorded and emailed through Oovoo to my learning circle: Dan's Cadre Gift

Also, add your new Oovoo user name to the Pepperdine Contacts list on Google Docs.

Original Cadre Gift Plan/Activities (Adapted from and expanded from my blog entry on 8/3/08):

I have selected the tool ‘Oovoo’ for my Cadre Gift. It is a very nice tool for hosting video conferences with multiple participants and recording and sharing short video messages. Up to three participants can simultaneously interaction on a video conference for free. With a paid subscription (currently $10/mo.) you can host up to six participants on live video and audio.
In addition to video chatting, similar to Skype, you can text chat and make calls to landlines. Oovoo also has the ability to record video conferences and share files with participants. Each of these features are include with with the paid subscription, but can be tested for free for 30 days.
My plan is to demonstrate the above features for my fellow Cadre through the following distributed learning experience:
  • I will send a pre-recorded Oovoo video message to my learning circle with a thought question and request for them to reflect about the question on Blackboard.
  • I will then set up an Oovoo meeting with my learning circle to further discuss the topic synchroniously using the tool.
  • We will record this session and post it for the Cadre to review and respond to in Blackboard.

I have not selected the topic of this discussion at this point, but have been experimenting extensively with Oovoo. I posted a blog entry today including details of the Oovoo session I have had with fellow cadre members this week. I have used this tool over the past several months at work and only now am I beginning to see the full extent of its application for distributed learning.

I see this tool as being a great asset to those both in education settings and corporations as you can host panel discussions with video, audio, and chat. In my own experience I have had success in using this tool for working sessions that incorporated participants in the US, Philippines, and India. It is wonderful to be able to see those with whom you are working. While I use a great deal of telephone-based meetings with colleagues, I find those that utilize some aspect of video to be the most engaging.

Comments about how others have used (or might use) the application: (TOP)


From BlackBoard:
Author: Anne K Smith
Posted date: Saturday, August 16, 2008

"I have really enjoyed using Oovoo. One of the things that first struck me about using video conferencing is how great it is to see people that you are discussing issues with. In comparison, when using only the chat features, it is often challenging to see if people are struggling or understanding what you are saying. With the added benefit of video, you can watch each others expressions to further understand where they are at in terms of their learning.

I can see using Oovoo both through extending my classroom beyond the walls by bringing in people form around the world to discuss novels/ books/ ideas with my students. As previously stated, watching and hearing others adds to our understanding rather than merely communicating via text. Also, another way that I can see using Oovoo is when my students travel, they can still be a part of class without actually being in class. I typically have a number of students who travel with their parents and this tool would enable them to still connect while not actually being in class.

The strengths I see in Oovoo are the visibility, the ability to record the discussion to review later, as well as the capacity for small groups to meet.

The limitations I can see are that at times it was difficult to hear more than 3 people in a conversation, as well as the group, in the free version, is limited to around 3-4 people.

In comparison to other video conferencing software that I have used, I like Oovoo's recording capability. In contrast I like the screen sharing abilities of adobe connect now, and the simplicity of MeBeam. I think they all have their unique characteristics, and would each suit a particular task well."

For additional comments about the use of Oovoo from Dan Wood, Anne Smith, and Greg Noack, please view this short, recorded Oovoo video chat:


Greg Noack, Dan Wood, and Anne Smith discuss Oovoo 8/26/08.

Reflection and Discussion: (TOP)


Please include your own reflections and discussion notes at the bottom of this section as you explore the use of Oovoo tool. My personal reflections collected as I completed the Cadre Gift project are included below:

Dan's Reflections:


Initial Reflection (Also posted as a blog entry on 8/24/08):

Working on the Cadre Gift has been a fun, challenging, and rewarding experience. In the early stages of the process I saw a great deal of success and activity around my gift selection, Oovoo, as several members of the Cadre used it activity. As noted in some of my earlier reflection blogs, I was able to connect on the tool with small groups and discuss the OMET program as we were getting started and take deeper dives in discussing the reading and our projects.

Lately, as everyone has been getting busier with work and projects for the program our interactions on the tool have declined. I am still working to complete my final stage of my Cadre Gift plan which is to record at least three of us on Oovoo discussing the tool and how we could see using it in our learning environments. I would also like to have more Cadre members reflect in the discussion forum on their impressions of the tool, although I know that time is precious and we are all very busy.

Overall I feel that the Cadre Gift process has gone well, I would just like to see these final pieces of the puzzle come together and create an overall learning cycle for the tool, including experience, reflection, interpretation and action taken. It would be wonderful to capture feedback of Cadre members using this tool to enhance their learning environments.

In addition to the focus on my tool, the Cadre Gift process has exposed me to an amazing array of new Web 2.0 tools and resources. I have only begun to scratch the surface of all of these tools and can not wait to explore them further. In terms of a distributed learning process I am certainly seeing the value gained in the learning process being distributed across individuals, time, and space. What we have put together in a short time is a very comprehensive library of Web 2.0 tools, including practical application exercises to get anyone started in using the tools.

I can see this library being a valuable resource as we continue in the OMET program.

I will continue to work to complete the ‘learning cycle’ for my Cadre Gift and plan to have the final piece done this coming week. I appreciate the support of my fellow Cadre in this effort.

Additional Reflection (8/26/08):

Tonight I was able to complete my Cadre Gift Learning plan by recording a session with two Cadre members and myself where we discussed Oovoo and how we could see using it in our own fields of practice. This is the recorded video chat session that I posted in the comments section above. After viewing the video please include your input on how you have used, or plan to use this tool in your field of practice in the comments section above.

Over the past month we have had some wonderful discussions in Oovoo. Even while simply experimenting with the tool! Even tonight while we were working together to record a sample we ended up discussing other topics and extending the meeting beyond the original intent to record a sample.

Anne was very considerate to record the session for the team and post it for me since I no longer have access to this feature in my free version. After all of the great experiences that I have had with this tool I am planning to upgrade to the "Super" account soon so that I can use all of the extra features. I want to wait until this is available for Mac first (out of beta).

I hope that other members of the cadre enjoy using and exploring Oovoo. It is a flexible tool that I have really enjoyed using at work at within the OMET program.

Final Reflection (8/29/08):

As I am completing the organizational work on this Wiki page dedicated to Oovoo. I find that I am reflecting back on the entire process that has brought me to this point. It seems like quite a long time since I selected Oovoo as my Web 2.0 Tool Cadre Gift during VirtCamp. What just struck me is how far my comfort with this tool and many of the other gifts has grown through this experience. While I hope that introducing Oovoo to the Cadre will provide many with a new tool they will use and enjoy, I know for certain that I have gained valuable knowledge in both the existence of and use of many new Web 2.0 tools. Just today I found myself using Diigo for bookmarking and highlighting some research websites and I have downloaded and/or signed up for several new tools that I know will also be useful, such as Evernote, Bubbl.us, and Jing.

One of the Web 2.0 learning experiences that I have noted during the time that we have been working on our Cadre Gifts is my new knowledge of editing Wikis. This has been a wonderful new skill to learn that the collaborative document writing and editing, as well as my work on this Cadre Gift page has helped me develop. Five weeks ago during VirtCamp I was having a tough time setting up a new page for my Oovoo notes on the Wiki... a few weeks later and I have confidence to reorganize the collaborative documents for our Cadre. I am thankful to fellow Cadre 11 members who have shown me new tips and tricks for editing and including media along the way.

What I find most rewarding about the Cadre Gift experience was the opportunity to collaborate closely with my Learning Circle and other Cadre members to complete the project. I have enjoyed participating in several fellow Cadre member's gift activities and found that to be where I learned the most about the new tools. Working with the team in this way also helped me shape my plans for how I would like to present my gift, and their support, participation, and creative insights even spilled over to the presentation of my gift. I had not considered hosting a live Oovoo video chat during the Cadre Gift presentations on Elluminate until the evening of the event when Greg suggested that as a possibility - what a great suggestion! This was a fun a way for those attending the session to see the tool in action and get an overview of the features.

My main goal in bringing Oovoo to the Cadre was to engage my learning circle, and other Cadre members, in opportunities to use the tool first hand and then to reflect up on that experience and consider how they might use the tool going forward. I wanted to use this approach to allow first hand experience and an opportunity for reflection. I am happy that several members of the Cadre have been able to use Oovoo and that a couple have also reflected on the tool and how they will apply it going forward. Over the course of the rest of the year I hope that others are able to try out the tool and also provide their reflections in the comments section above.

The Cadre Gift project was a great way to learn more about distributed cognition while learning about Web 2.0 and a wide array of new tools. Sharing the responsibility for learning and teaching these tools among the Cadre allowed us all to gain much more knowledge, particularly practical application knowledge, in a shorter time than we each could have done on our own.

Discussion Question:


How could you see using Oovoo in your own practice?

Please enter your comments here...