THE Girls’ Day School Trust is enhancing its digital learning provision by investing in video and media management and distribution platform, Planet eStream.
The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) is the UK’s leading network of independent girls’ schools. The Trust has approximately 20,000 pupils in 24 schools and two academies throughout England and Wales, educating girls from the age of three to 18.
Following investment in a virtual learning environment (VLE) in 2014, the GDST was looking for ways to take things further by enhancing video creation, use and sharing within its school network.
Head of Learning Technology and Innovation at the Trust, Cat Scutt, says, "We use the VLE to support our ‘flipped classroom’ approach to learning: giving students access to online content before lessons, which they then work on, together with teachers, in the classroom.
"With teachers and students making more use of mobile devices to create their own video content, video has become an integral feature of learning within our schools. We were looking for a solution that would enable us to store, organise and share staff and student content – within individual schools, across the network and at our central office – that also allowed users to control exactly who has access to that content.
"Live streaming capabilities are also key. We run a lot of events at our schools, which are located all over the country. Staff and students can’t always get to every event, and the ability to broadcast events to parents and other schools is very important to us."
She says that representatives from GDST schools who were involved in the decision-making process, as well as the GDST Education, ICT and Communications teams, were impressed with the range of functionality the Planet eStream system offers at all levels:
"The absolute beauty of Planet eStream is that it is an incredibly sophisticated product, which is also very easy to use. At its simplest level, it makes media storage and sharing easy, but you can also dive deeper and use more complex tools to create and share content and bespoke learning resources."
Cat says Planet DV’s strong reputation in the education sector and a track record of successful work with universities gave the GDST confidence that Planet eStream would be an effective product choice and that Planet DV’s experienced team could deliver a project for an organisation of its size, scale and structure.
The GDST commissioned the new system in June this year, and a fast turnaround has seen Planet eStream installed, existing content migrated and staff training arranged in time for "go live" at the start of the new academic year.
"I’m very happy with the way everything has worked out," Cat says. "Thanks to the work from Planet DV and our local and central ICT teams, the transition has been very smooth. Everything has been completed on time with minimum fuss or disruption. Our schools are very excited, and immediately started to identify ways of using the full range of features Planet eStream offers.
"I’m hoping that this investment will give our schools more opportunities to get pupils creating and sharing content; help them make more use of flipped learning; remove some of the complexities of content sharing; and allow our schools to make the most of the equipment we’ve invested in. Ultimately, my goal is that Planet eStream will help transform the way we look at learning."
Planet eStream has a user base of over 1600 educational client sites worldwide, comprising many top UK independent schools and school trusts, state maintained schools, entire educational authorities, academies and free schools, colleges and universities.
For more information about this story, please contact Karen Tinkler at The Partners Group on 01904 610077 or email karen at partners-group.co.uk.