Over 35 000 students, teachers and representatives of public organizations from federal Russian districts are benefiting from a ground-breaking “Gymnasium Union of Russia” (GUR) program. Developed by non-profit organization Russian Foundation for Education Support, the GUR program is powered by video collaboration solutions from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C).
Shown here: seminar held about the safety on the roads. Polycom video meetings are held with students, heads of schools, teachers, education officials, and police officers. (Photo: Business Wire)Today the Gymnasium Union of Russia is the largest national educational project in Russia. The pilot project began with seven schools in St. Petersburg and now has approximately 350 regional education centers. All centers are equipped with videoconferencing solutions and the services are used by more than 1,400 schools - including high schools, military schools and colleges of teacher training. The strategic aim of the GUR program is to organize the professional network of gymnasiums and lyceums in Russia through videoconferencing solutions. To date, the Foundation for Education Support is in active cooperation with the countries of near and far abroad countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, and Australia. More than 350 educational institutions are members of the GUR and each has one video-enabled classroom with Polycom® RealPresence® Room video solutions (including the Polycom VSX® 7000 and HDX® 6000).The GUR infrastructure is built on the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform, open, standards-based video infrastructure that provides the security, scale, manageability, flexibility, and high-definition (HD) quality required to enable large numbers of students and teachers to collaborate with virtually anyone via video in any work or classroom environment, using any type of device. Another key component is Polycom® RealPresence® Media Manager software, which allows classes and seminars to be recorded and made available to students and teachers who want to catch up on classes they missed or simply review material on their own time. “High reliability, functionality and continuity are crucial to us when it comes to choosing technologies for our teachers and students across all education institutions,” said A. K. Fedorov, Vice President of the Foundation for Education Support and Head of the GUR. “When we analyzed the technical means by which we could unite different schools via video we reviewed various videoconferencing solutions. We picked Polycom because their solutions met all of our requirements and offered the most scalable, interoperable, and flexible solutions for the most reasonable cost. We take into account the key characteristics of equipment, as well as the cost when thinking about new purchases every year.”