Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC), today announced that the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush has equipped 110 classrooms with Polycom® RealPresence® video as an innovative way to enhance the educational experience of more than 55,000 students, staff, administrators, and lifelong learners in Kansas and three other states.
“Kansas is very rural and students in smaller communities do not have access to the same learning activities that are available to kids in more affluent urban areas,” said Lisa Blair, Director of Student Learning at Greenbush. “We turned to Polycom’s video collaboration solution to create a distance learning program, enabling educational opportunities for students in these rural areas. Deploying RealPresence video systems in the classrooms and the RealPresence Platform in the network, school districts can now pool their resources and deliver innovative and enriching content to students. Budget cuts have left rural schools with very basic offerings, but through distance learning we’re able to provide advanced and elective classes.” Kansas, like many states, has lost more than 250 teachers statewide in the last few years due to education budget cuts. Distance learning helps provide quality educational opportunities for students despite the loss in funds and services.
Polycom is the video collaboration standard in the state of Kansas. Polycom-based distance learning classes are offered daily at elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the state. Greenbush offers a large number of elementary academic programs that help students learn and help schools meet rigorous standards in science, math, and social studies. Staff and administrative meetings are also held on the Greenbush Interactive Distance Learning Network. School districts have realized significant cost savings by offering teacher training and professional development via live video. In total, 55,000 to 60,000 individuals participate in events on the Greenbush network every year. The network extends beyond Kansas, delivering educational opportunities to students in Arkansas, Missouri, and Ohio.