CALDWELL, N.J., December 22, 2015 – These are not your grandfather’s home movies.
Caldwell University has produced a series of innovative, engaging 360 videos of campus life, becoming one of the first schools to wholeheartedly embrace the new media for student engagement.
“What makes 360 video unique is that the viewer is not limited to an editor’s selection of the pictures or shots,” says Anthony Yang, social media and web director for Caldwell. “The viewer can see the entire room or outdoor surroundings—sky, ground, all of it with a panorama feel
In the recent batch of videos, Caldwell University students and staff as on-air talent take viewers into dorm rooms and essential offices on campus. “All the viewer has to do is click, drag or hover and he or she has a full-scope experience,” says Yang, who uses a special camera with multiple lenses to film the videos. “The camera sees more than I do. That’s for sure.” He points out that Caldwell is on the cutting edge with the production of these videos, since they were just rolled out on YouTube early in 2015 and supported on Facebook in the fall.
Joseph Posillico, vice president for enrollment management and communications, says Caldwell has been engaging new media tools to give potential students a closer look at campus life. “It is safe to say we are one of the first institutions of higher education to create 360 videos, especially in this volume.”
“We live in a global society and these technologies allow us to quickly share our campus life and connect with those in other parts of the country or world,” says Posillico. “Potential students or those who are simply interested in viewing our beautiful campus and what we are doing can see our celebrations, our events, even our weather—it’s very exciting for us and the viewers.” Incoming students can get a little more familiar with the offices and the lay of the land before they start classes, he adds.
Producing the 360 videos has also been a good learning experience for students, “adding to our interactive campus atmosphere,” Posillico explains. As virtual reality technology matures and becomes more user-friendly, students will be using these skills in the marketplace when they graduate, he says. “We are happy to be able to give them this exposure at the starting gate.”
Within the first few days of producing the videos, there was definitely a “buzz” with more engagement on social media, says Yang.