Zoom, but better

Individualised, private attention in Zoom classrooms.
Aug 31, 2021
Together, alone.

Much of online learning has been through Zoom, it’s become an essential tool but there are some shortcomings.

CoreSenses is a learning specialist, helping guide children who require additional support through a tailored program based on neuroscientific research. The team in Sydney faced creating a remote work environment and transforming its on-site classroom facilities into an online learning platform overnight because of lockdown.

CoreSenses needed to convert its existing learning infrastructure into a secure user-friendly platform that could maintain high interaction and supervision levels with students while providing direct engagement.

The challenge was supporting students individually across breakout rooms. There was also no ability to interact with individual students without disturbing the entire virtual classroom, and there were also limitations in accessing Windows applications from multiple devices.

Enter Citrix, their goal was to recreate the normal classroom experience in this online social network. It was vital they created a remote work and learning environment in one, and imperative that students felt they had a teacher in front of them to answer questions and support their learning journey.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops allow for quick and easy virtualised workstations, on any type of device and with personalised access to the apps and data students and teachers required to perform at their best.

The solution was coupled with Citrix Gateway Enterprise to allow teachers to run up to 15 concurrent Zoom breakout classrooms from their own Windows PC. Teachers can quickly select and talk to an individual student without all the other sessions listening and seeing the conversation.

This increased engagement and productivity among CoreSenses’ staff and students and opened the door to significant opportunities for growth. The organisation doubled its student numbers, and no student is ever left waiting for a teacher, even when the teacher is with another student.

“We have doubled our student numbers, and more crucially, we now have an elastic technology infrastructure that can maintain growth and support virtual learning situations based on student preferences or health-related closures. No student is ever left waiting for a teacher, even when the teacher is with another student,” says David Comisso, Director of Technology & Learning at CoreSenses.

Education templates have also been automated and are now delivered to the students right away, reducing the opportunity for students to be distracted.

This approach is designed to strengthen cognitive functions and encourage self-directed learning outcomes. It works with students to expand their cognitive capabilities and empower a positive learning mindset, leading to a better result.

Com-X a cloud-centric consultancy was brought aboard to marry the technologies involved. It capitalised on CoreSenses’ existing use of AWS to deliver the solution. It expanded the CoreSenses AWS Virtual Private Cloud and configured Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to provide Windows 10 themed desktops with webcams and virtual devices. It overlaid this with the Zoom VDI plugin for Citrix to provide two-way vivid graphics and crisp audio during Zoom breakout classrooms.

“It’s really something to see where you have 15 separate Zoom sessions, each with a single student, looking back at you on a big screen used by a CoreSenses teacher. But the magic of the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops technology means the teachers can quickly select and talk to an individual student without all the other sessions listening and seeing the conversation,” says Stephen Laird, Technical Consultant at Com-X.

Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels