Overall Satisfaction with BlueJeans
We started using BlueJeans 3 years ago. We have a robust distance learning network allowing students from neighboring districts and rural districts to access courses from other districts. We also partnered with our regional university and our regional technical college to offer dual credits using BlueJeans combined with a student management system. Our state organization provided us with this start as HD distance learning labs were too expensive and did not provide the portability and device flexibility required in today's educational world. As the agency administrator of the Cooperative Education Service Agency, I serve 31 school districts which are governed by an 11-person board of control. A CESA is Wisconsin is an area service agency defined by state law as a quasi-government unit. CESAs are extended many of the same designations as school districts with one exception; they do not have taxing authority. There are 12 of us in Wisconsin. With that said, I have monthly meetings with the superintendents as we are the liaison between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and our designated school districts. I have used BlueJeans to conduct virtual meetings, invite experts from across the country, and allow participation for those who cannot physically travel to the meetings.
- Easy Access: multiple ways to join a meeting
- Ease of use: screen sharing, sign-on, etc.
- Recording of meeting turn around time very quick.
- I like BlueJeans; however, many of our members are switching to Zoom as they cite the options in the settings are more straight-forward. They can go to settings and start at the top and work down and understand exactly what the settings will do
- Others cite they would like BlueJeans to be more intuitive. For example, when they use breakout rooms the buttons to return are easily accessible- they are not afraid to get lost by exploring features in Zoom
- They also cite the design and look of the product. I'm not sure what that means. Personally I prefer BlueJeans and have started several superintendents with it. However, I also have to serve my partners' preferences as well. This is a critical time because many students are using the products and their preferences will be shaped during a time where teleconferencing software use is the highest in educational history.
- It saves our school districts collectively $2000 per meeting in mileage costs.
- Since our area is 4000 square miles, it saves travel time for districts to travel to a location.
- In the past only one major meeting could be scheduled in a day; now, it's feasible to schedule 3 meetings before noon.
Our board of control allows for remote participation in our CESA governance. We have members who live busy lives and have jobs that are demanding. BlueJeans has allowed them to join from anywhere in the world using a device with video capability or simply by dialing into the meeting with a cell phone.
I have used Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and others. BlueJeans and Zoom are the best products are out there for meetings that require interactive presentations and formality. I believe both products are good. Preference by the people I serve is typically which product they became familiar with first or which product others are using. People want to run a meeting without a hitch, BlueJeans certainly provides that.