Pexip helped SynapSiS enable more equal access to education
SynapSiS is a technology company that provides clients with single-source support for the entire solution life cycle. They develop, enhance, and manage business applications using a delivery model that focuses on building long term relationships. RISE is a video-enabled, highly collaborative teaching and communication tool for education professionals in the state of Illinois and was designed to improve equality in education.
Pexip services in use
● Pexip Service cloud-based solution
● Interoperability with Poly video infrastructure
- Rural schools with teacher shortages needed access to more equal education opportunities
- The RISE program needed a video conferencing provider that could connect schools and teachers for collaborative distance learning
- The selected video provider needed to be easy to use, high-quality, and reliable
- The Pexip Service, which connects 39 schools (and will soon add more) using Virtual Meeting Rooms that are interoperable with Poly devices
- Teachers can easily hold remote classes with students distributed across multiple locations
- Students can join classes via web browser just by clicking a link, with no downloads needed
- 100% positive feedback from teachers and students on ease of use and quality
SynapSiS, a technology company based in Illinois, USA, works across several industries, including the Education sector. Five years ago, in an effort to address a teacher shortage in Illinois that was causing inequality in rural education, the RISE program was developed to address this using video-enabled teaching across distances.
According to Sean Brown, Vice President of SynapSiS, the goal was to create highly collaborative classrooms to allow for synchronous learning, using multiple cameras, touch monitors, and all the tools that a teacher would need to provide education to these districts. By creating this immersive experience through technology, students would be able to participate in class, as if they were there, and have access to the same learning opportunities as students in larger cities.
To make this program a success, it was important that SynapSiS choose the right tools and technology. When looking for a video conferencing provider, the most important features they considered were ease of use, quality, and consistency in terms of service. Additionally, they needed a solution that allowed their Poly H.323 video endpoints to be able to easily connect to the video service. Affordability was also a key consideration, since the program is based on a USDA grant as a funding mechanism. When that runs out, it is important that the program remains affordable for the schools involved.
Sean was introduced to Pexip by an acquaintance at the University of Illinois who had evaluated and recommended the video conferencing service. Since ease of use was a key concern, Pexip easily met that requirement, as one of its key features is interoperability. By using Pexip, the program would be able to utilize the Poly video systems they had in place. SynapiSiS was also looking for something that offered both quality and reliability, and Pexip, which is a market leader in offering high-quality video meetings, fit the bill.
All testing was done upfront, and they were given a trial license, leading to a roll-out that Sean says was “super easy. We provided the email, had them activate the session or the room, and that was it. It’s pretty simple.”
“We really didn't have any issues with Pexip because it was just so damn easy.”Sean Brown, Vice President of SynapSiS
Sean says that the feedback from students and teacher has been “100% positive.”
“They love it. Because again, it's so simple. It was a walk in the park for these guys. I even had a 35-year veteran teacher who was just completely freaked out about this stuff. And then, after we went through how easy Pexip was to use and how easy the Polycom system was to use, I went back to her two weeks after class started, and she was customizing presets all by herself.”
When Covid-19 forced RISE to quickly scale up to accommodate higher volumes of distance learning, Sean was very impressed with how quickly Pexip was able to adapt to their needs.
“If we needed to add a room, I made a phone call. And within 30 minutes, I had a new room up and available. I mean, Pexip performed.”
RISE has been in place for five years, and as of 2021, they are serving 39 schools, and will soon be adding 30 additional schools, have just signed up a college, and are implementing 30 classrooms on campus, which will open up their coursework for dual credit classes to high schools.
“It's really an exciting time, and we've really started to kill it,” says Sean.
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