Avaya Spaces Helps Schools Worldwide Impacted by COVID-19
Roughly nine out of 10 (more than 1.5 billion) students are out of school worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from UNESCO. Developments are quickly changing, but it appears most schools are closed throughout April with some expecting to stay closed through the remainder of the academic year. The level of disruption has been unprecedented, and it has exposed a digital divide as schools scramble to transition to a remote working and learning model. Many are stumbling due to a lack of resources, both financial and technical (laptops, communication and collaboration tools, etc.).
A lot of great companies are stepping up to help however they can, and Avaya is no different. As a world leader in Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions, we have been accelerating our work with educators across the globe to help enable distance learning through our cloud-based meeting and team collaboration solution, Avaya Spaces.
By offering Spaces for free, education organizations can gain access to all the meeting and team collaboration features they need:
- Space creation and management
- File sharing and shared file previews
- Online voice conferencing for up to 60 participants
- Direct online video calling (1-1 direct video calling with other Spaces users)
- Online video conferencing for up to 25 participants
- Application integrations (Outlook Plug-in, Google Calendar extension and more)
- Group task management
- Unlimited online support
Avaya has donated thousands of Spaces licenses to education organizations worldwide and allocated more bandwidth to meet growing needs (demand for the app has been doubling by the day). In fact, video traffic on the Avaya Spaces platform has increased 1800% since January. We’re also enabling the platform in new countries hit by COVID-19. For example, we’re collaborating with Orange Egypt to expand the availability of Spaces throughout the country, offering educational institutions complimentary, full-feature access to the app along with special data packages offered by Orange Egypt.
Beyond Spaces: How Avaya is Helping Education Organizations During COVID-19
We have mobilized our technical staff to assist schools as they implement distance learning technologies, including a 24/7 hotline dedicated to supporting the sudden transition to remote working and learning models. As a result, tens of thousands of students have been empowered to continue their education through this crisis.
We’re supporting hundreds of universities, including Michigan State University and Florida State University, to address the COVID-19 challenges with resources to manage remote education with students and faculty.
We are working with two major U.S. state university medical centers to help them handle high call volume without needed to add infrastructure or wait for local service providers. Avaya Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) will allow these centers to handle growth in volume with services they don’t currently have in-house, providing much-needed reliability and security while remaining within their manufacturers’ software support lifecycle.
More Ideas for Using Avaya Spaces for Distance Learning
- Teachers can live stream classes so students can feel a connection even though they are learning from home. Recordings of classes are always accessible to students to aid in coursework.
- Run regular team meetings with secure video/content-sharing meetings. You can even invite your local school community to join with questions or comments.
- Use your persistent cloud “space” as a place for virtual office hours where students and parents can drop-in to chat, ask questions or express concerns.
- Some schools are creating “Flex Fridays” where no new work is assigned and Friday is instead used by students for getting help, catching up, meeting with teachers or team groups online, and allowing teachers to have a common planning time together.
- Conduct daily and evening conferences to answer questions from parents as developments quickly change.
- For younger grades, teachers can use Spaces to host evening gatherings where they can read a book to students at night. They can even screen-share so that students can read along.
- Teachers can centralize communications and course management by assigning tasks to individual students or groups of students and follow-up directly within Spaces. Supervisors can similarly do this for managing staff.
The global adoption of distance learning represents a paradigm shift in traditional educational models and a steep learning curve for both teachers and students. We’re proud that the flexibility and ease of use of Avaya Spaces supports those who need communication and collaboration when it matters most. As organizations continue to trek unchartered territory, Avaya will be there every step of the way to help you.