About the Client
Patterson Unified School District
Number of Employees
When COVID-19 made it necessary for California schools to close for the remainder of the school year, Patterson Unified School District had to choose a method of distance learning. Suspending education wasn’t an option, and teachers needed to continue to interact with their students remotely.
Patterson had already engaged Telcion to replace an aging phone system with a Cisco hybrid solution that included WebEx Cloud administration and on-premise servers and voice gateways. This project was scheduled to be delivered in the summertime at the end of the school year.
To solve the challenges created by COVID-19, it made sense to add Cisco WebEx Meetings and video collaboration hardware. Expanding the voice system project to include collaboration would enable the entire solution to work together instead of creating a separately managed system for distance learning.
The main challenge was a short timeline. Developing & implementing a solution would normally take 4-6 weeks. In this case, the school district needed this to happen in days.
Students needed to begin distance learning and have access to their teachers and counselors. The school board needed to be kept up to date with a rapidly changing situation.
WebEx Room Kits needed to be installed, DX80s given to staff, and Chromebooks distributed to students. Additionally, training needed to take place quickly so that everyone could use WebEx Meetings proficiently.
We placed WebEx Room Kits in conference rooms throughout the district, as well as DX80 video conferencing units on every teacher’s desk, providing easy video access. We deployed WebEx Meetings for teachers to facilitate distance learning for their classrooms.
Together, these enabled large scale video collaboration between teachers and students, administration and teachers, as well as the school board with the city. The solution significantly enhanced the ability of everyone within the Patterson school district to access needed information and services.
We spent time training the staff, teachers, and district office, familiarizing them with features like the Google Calendar plugin for WebEx Meetings and One Touch Join. We also trained the IT team on how to add users to the system, manage features, pull usage reports, and troubleshoot Room Kits and DX80s.
Another part of this solution involved moving high priority phone numbers off of Patterson’s existing phone system and into Cisco WebEx Calling, allowing users to leverage the mobile app.
Though circumstances were not ideal, this solution made distance learning easy for both students and teachers.