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HK school network builds learning platform

Carol Ko | Jan. 20, 2009
Technology barrier removed for students, teachers and parents.

English Schools Foundation students using the Connected Learning Community platform

HONG KONG, 20 JANUARY 2009 A Hong Kong school network has last week deployed Adobe's network solutions to streamline their online learning platform.

Under the agreement between the Hong Kong's English Schools Foundation (ESF) and Adobe Systems, ESF will implement Adobe Flash Media Server and Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro to enhance its Connected Learning Community (CLC) platform.

CLC is a liberal education platform provided to more than 65 per cent of ESF's students. According to ESF, their education platform is one of the largest district online learning platforms in South East Asia.

ESF was established in 1967 and is currently operating 21 schools in Hong Kong, with a current enrollment of more than 12,000 students from 50 countries.

Video-based technology learning

Students today expect a certain level of technology in their learning environment, and it's hard to instill a love of learning in them without these tools, said Peter Woodhead, Information Communications Technology advisor of ESF. He said it is also important for ESF to provide students with an audience other than their teachers.

As the school system has grown, ESF has turned to technology to knock down communication barriers by creating an interactive video-based technology learning platform. The platform enables ESF students and teachers to publish and distribute their work via the Web.

Reliability and security are the two most important criteria for a streaming video solution in the education field, said Woodhead. Adobe and value-added partner GrandTech Systems worked closely with ESF to design a safe environment where engaged learning could take place.

Adobe Flash Media Server has vastly improved the network's reliability, cutting down on system downtime and sluggish response times. More importantly, the solution helped ESF remove the technology barrier' for students, teachers and parents who rely on CLC as their school at home', Woodhead said.

Making technology invisible

Making the technology invisible was the key for ESF to improving usage of the CLC platform. Video wasn't taken into consideration when we first developed CLC, said Woodhead. It took time to get teachers enthused about the new system, but once teachers saw how the kids were using it, their involvement went up dramatically. Now we have around two-thirds of our students using CLC, posting to their Web pages with video and audio clips, sharing and learning in a modern way.

In addition to Adobe Flash Media Server, ESF deployed Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro to satisfy the video and audio demands of online language classes. These include the ability to enable the language centre to restructure classroom dynamics and create a new context for the social learning of language. By using Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, teachers can create an authentic social context for language learning, which is more engaging than learning from a text book, said Woodhead.


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