Infotech Lead America: Polycom is assisting Jefferson County Public Schools to connect through video with colleagues, classrooms and district offices on mobile devices and PCs.
Jeffco, which serves nearly 86,000 students across half of Denver and into the mountains west of the city, educators and staff members, has embraced the BYOD (bring your own device) movement by welcoming employee-owned devices and over 3,000 iPads currently being used by employees.
“School districts everywhere are adopting tablet technology because teachers and students want to work and teach on the devices they use at home,” said Steve O’Brien, Jeffco’s director of data center operations. “We’re leveraging that BYOD phenomenon to put Polycom video in the hands of more teachers and staff. It’s just right there where and when they need it.”
Jeffco employees are using Polycom RealPresence Mobile app on their iPads and Polycom RealPresence Desktop software on their PCs.
In the past three days, 51 percent of the people who logged into a video conference were using the RealPresence Mobile app on an iPad, and 49 percent were using RealPresence Desktop solutions.
For teachers, video collaboration offers the chance to connect classrooms across the district or around the world. French and Spanish learners, for instance, can try out their language skills with students in France and Spain.
“We have teachers who will deliver a lecture to the class in front of them, but they’ll use Polycom video to bring another class in to participate,” said Brian Hughes, technology coordinator at Jeffco’s Evergreen High School. “We’re up in the mountains, so traveling between campuses can cost you a lot of time. The convenience of video collaboration is really felt here.”
Jeffco’s director of construction management now conducts her staff meetings over video, which saves six department employees from having to drive in to district headquarters. Recruiters from distant universities connect face-to-face with students at high school career centers, and Evergreen High relied on Polycom solutions to interview out-of-state candidates for the school librarian post.