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Zoomtopia 2019 Innovation Award Winner: The University of Otago and the Far Side of the World
October 21, 2019 by John Montgomery

The University of Otago was chosen as one of three winners of the 2019 Zoomtopia Innovation Award, which recognizes Zoom customers that embody innovation, inspiration, and creativity in using Zoom solutions. 

For many of today’s professors, it can be a challenge to give students a personal connection to the material they are teaching. Slideshows, videos, photos, and presentations are proven methods for instructing students, but inspiring students’ passion for a subject by creating a unique learning experience requires a modern approach to education. Christina Riesselman and Chris Moy, senior lecturers in the geology department at the University of Otago in New Zealand, decided to use Zoom to help create this unique learning experience and inspire their students. 

Award-Worthy Impact

Riesselman and Moy embarked on a two-month expedition on the drilling ship JOIDES Resolution with the International Ocean Discovery Program. Using Zoom, they were able to broadcast from the ship to their classrooms in New Zealand using a satellite internet connection, sharing their discoveries with their students in real time. And with useful features like screen sharing and integrations with tools like PowerPoint, Riesselman and Moy were able to give their students an incredible learning experience from one of the most remote places in the world. 

The JOIDES Resolution

Innovation in Action

“While we were at sea, we were at the furthest point from any coastline on the planet. We were very close to Point Nemo, so we were closer to people on the International Space Station than we were to anyone standing on land.” 

“Zoom was fantastic. With a satellite internet connection and a tablet, we were able to give our students back home a fantastic tour of this research vessel we were on in the middle of the Southern Ocean.”

About the Awards

The Zoomtopia Innovation Awards are a video submission contest aimed at highlighting your stories. We created this initiative as a way to show our gratitude for the amazing ways our customers are using Zoom. All Zoom users were invited to participate and share a 1-to-2-minute video submission explaining how they use Zoom solutions. A panel of Zoom judges reviewed each video submission and selected winners that embody innovation, inspiration, and creativity. Winners each received two complimentary tickets to Zoomtopia Oct. 15-16 in San Jose and were recognized on stage at the event.

Other Zoomtopia Innovation Award category winners were CNCT Alumni Association for Social Impact, California State Parks (PORTS) for Environmental Impact, and Western Sydney University for its use of Zoom Rooms.

And thanks again to all our great Zoomers out there for participating!

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