As classroom needs evolve, Jabra partners with Sarasota Schools to deliver superior experience for remote learning

Sarasota County Schools is partnering with Jabra to equip thousands of classrooms across their school district with solutions to enable remote learning.
Solution: Jabra PanaCast and Jabra Speak

Crystal-clear Panoramic-4k resolution
180-degree view of any classroom space without distortion
Compatible with all leading Unified Communications platforms
Superior audio quality

Easy to deploy and use for IT teams and teachers
Expansive field of view across any classroom shape or size
Delivers an immersive learning experience — no matter where students are located

Successful learning begins with engaged students

Technology in classrooms has long been an effective way to complement and enhance learning, but as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology in classrooms has become essential to the success of students. From audio to video equipment, the pandemic has shown the critical need for flexible technology that enables teachers to meet the evolving needs of students, whether in the classroom or remote.

Just as video conferencing has become the norm with remote work, adding a video element to remote learning enables all students to have a similar learning experience to the physical classroom environment, and allows teachers to engage directly with their students, regardless of location.

As remote learning continues around the globe, it’s critical that schools are able to continue to provide an outstanding learning experience by harnessing the power of technology. There’s never been a better time to take a closer look at systems for virtual learning and ensure that both students and teachers are positioned for success.

Sarasota Schools installed Jabra PanaCast cameras and Speak 510 speakerphones in 2,500 classrooms across the district – from Pre-K through 12th Grade and Technical College.

Maintaining communication and collaboration in a concurrent teaching model

In response to the pandemic, the Sarasota County school district in Sarasota, Florida has adopted a concurrent teaching model where some students are present in classrooms, while some are taking classes online from home. This new model presents a unique set of challenges. In addition to teaching in ways they never have taught before, teachers need to keep remote students engaged while they are not physically present in the classroom. In these unprecedented times, as Sarasota Schools’ new process evolved, teachers and IT teams recognized a need for technology that enables teachers to bring the classroom online.

“We’re excited for what this technology means for teachers, and how it allows them to seamlessly, and more meaningfully
connect with remote students.”

Joe Binswanger, Director of Information Technology
at Sarasota County Schools

Bringing the classroom experience online

In order to meet these evolving needs, Sarasota Schools installed Jabra PanaCast cameras and Speak 510 speakerphones in 2,500 classrooms to keep students at home engaged and provide a more immersive remote learning experience.

Jabra PanaCast is the world’s first Panoramic-4k plug-and-play video solution, originally designed to bring meetings to life with high-definition video. Jabra PanaCast offers a full 180-degree view, automatically including everyone in the conversation – even if they are more spread out in the room to maintain social distancing. With a view of the entire classroom, students at home are able to see the teacher’s instructional environment so they do not miss out on nonverbal cues and can feel like they are a part of the classroom. And for lessons that require more in-depth instruction, the Intelligent Zoom feature can automatically adjust the frame to focus only on the teacher, or whoever is talking at the time.

Jabra‘s Speak 510 speakerphones offer superb audio quality and connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or USB, allowing students to hear everything that is going on in the classroom. Together, Jabra PanaCast and Speak 510 offer an unrivaled combination of crystal-clear audio and video to bring remote and in-person students closer together for an immersive, engaging remote learning experience.

Enabling flexible technology

Disjointed and complicated communications tools can cause teachers to spend more time navigating IT issues, and less time actually teaching. As schools look to leverage remote learning tools to allow for social distancing, it’s important to have high-performance technology in place which is consistently reliable and easy-to-use.

By integrating Jabra’s intelligently designed audio and video solutions into classrooms throughout the district, Sarasota Schools were able to provide a singular solution that met the needs of all classrooms, teachers, and students, from kindergarten classes to high-school-level science courses. The plug-and-play integration between the Jabra PanaCast and Speak 510 instantly connects with whatever video conferencing platform the teacher is using, allowing them to utilize the platform that best fits the needs of their students and curriculum. This flexibility is key, especially in a large district with diverse needs.

“We don’t want to create an environment where teachers spend valuable instructional time troubleshooting technology,” said Todd Alexander, Manager of School Support Services and Information Technology at Sarasota County Schools. “Jabra solutions are easy to navigate and are incredibly user friendly. The nice thing about technology is when it just works. This has been the case with Jabra solutions, they just work!”

All hands on deck to support rollout

With thousands of classrooms across the entire district, Sarasota Schools’ IT team is responsible for all technology and is tasked with making sure everything is working properly so classes can continue without disruption. As the district works to maintain social distancing, it’s even more important that classroom technology works so the amount of contact is minimized.

With a short window between the arrival of the Jabra PanaCast cameras and Speak 510 speakerphones and the start of the school year, Sarasota Schools’ IT team was tasked with deploying these solutions in thousands of classrooms. However, the plug-and-play nature of Jabra solutions made the rollout incredibly seamless and the IT team was able to successfully implement the technology across their district.

“We’ve rolled out a lot of different technology in classrooms through the years and there is typically always significant implementation time,” J McQueen, System Administrator with Sarasota County Schools, said.

“It speaks volumes that we could set up 2,500 Jabra cameras and speakerphones seamlessly in such a short period of time.”

Jamal Guiler, System Administrator at
Sarasota County Schools

Since the rollout of the Jabra PanaCast and the Speak 510 in Sarasota Schools, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The implementation was extremely straightforward, and the Sarasota Schools IT team worked closely with the Jabra support team to resolve any issues. With extensive backend support and an all-hands-on-deck approach, Jabra is continuously helping Sarasota Schools to tackle challenges as they arise and leverage the solutions for success across their district.

Adding value for students and teachers

As teachers adapt to the new normal and this concurrent learning model, ease of use and flexibility is critical to the adoption and success of these new solutions. The rollout of Jabra PanaCast and Speak 510 in Sarasota Schools has generated overwhelmingly positive feedback. Teachers report that the solutions are very easy to use in a variety of different ways, and have added value to their classrooms by giving them the ability to connect with remote students in a more meaningful way.

Some of the most attractive features of the Jabra PanaCast cameras have been their 180-degree panoramic view that allows students at home to view the entire classroom, including the whiteboard, and the smart zoom tracking features to hone in on the teacher or student speaking. With the Speak 510 speakerphone, teachers have seen great value with the flexibility and portability, allowing them to move the speakerphones around the classroom depending on different class needs.

“The Jabra PanaCast and Jabra Speak are the connection between what is happening in the school classroom and the at-home classroom.”

Aurangzeb Khan, Senior Vice President at Jabra

“When all students cannot be in the classroom at once, proper audio and video quality is critical to maintaining connections in a virtual learning environment,” said Aurangzeb Khan, Senior Vice President at Jabra. “At Jabra, we are dedicated to providing the technology solutions that school systems need to allow them to deliver the best possible experience for students and teachers.”

The school district is learning more every day about what students at home need to be successful and as it plans for the future, Jabra solutions will be an integral part of Sarasota Schools’ ecosystem as it continues to leverage technology to evolve with the changing needs of the classroom.

In these unprecedented times, being able to provide solutions that allow teachers to more meaningfully connect with remote students is essential to supporting their education and progress. With the help of the Jabra PanaCast and Speak 510, Sarasota County Schools is able to support learning and instruction for remote students, giving them a front-row seat to their class no matter where they are located.

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