Penn Trafford case study

Penn-Trafford School District

Exterity IP Video and Digital Signage helped Penn-Trafford School District upgrade its video delivery for the classroom and across campus

Penn-Trafford School District serves the western Westmoreland county of Pennsylvania, USA, through its five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, which enroll around 4,000 students each year. The District is undergoing a multi-year renovation project, which includes the introduction of new high school gymnasiums, auditorium/theaters, collaboration centers (libraries), STEM wings and other instructional areas.

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The Challenge

Penn-Trafford School District is part of "The Classroom of the Future" Program, which provides grants to enable teachers to incorporate live TV and video into their lesson plans and help encourage social awareness of important topics. The School District’s existing cable access-based TV system was also starting to show its age and limitations in terms of delivering on-demand and dynamic content. Ahead of its renovation, the District began the process of looking for a replacement system that would deliver video content and signage, initially for its Penn-Trafford High School campus, and then throughout all of its schools. The system needed to be flexible in terms of supporting a variety of different video sources, including live broadcast TV channels, Video on Demand (VoD) content and video channels from its own in-house TV studio.

“We wanted to show a video explaining the dangers of underage drinking. It was a very powerful video to get people to pause and think, but we didn’t have the capacity in our school auditorium to bring together the whole student body. Rather than congregating in the auditorium, the video feed was streamed via an AvediaStream Encoder to AvediaPlayer Receiver set-top boxes across campus, so students could watch it in smaller groups. The feedback we received was very positive and the video had more of an impact.”

Steve Vinton, Video Product Teacher at Penn-Trafford High School

The Solution

Based on these requirements, Penn-Trafford School District selected an Exterity integrated IP video and digital signage system. AvediaStream Encoders broadcast live and pre-recorded video and audio from the school’s TV studio over the IP network to displays across campus. The IP video system also includes a digital video library that students and teachers can access on demand. AvediaStream TVgateways capture live TV channels from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. All content can be relayed to any of the 80 projectors and 20 displays located within classrooms, hallways, the cafeteria, central auditorium and common study areas across the school campus. The AvediaServer management platform enables administrators to manage the complete IP video and ArtioSign digital signage system efficiently from a central point. Users can easily record, store and play back content on demand, as well as create, manage and schedule signage content for display on individual and groups of screens with drag-and-drop ease.

“Penn-Trafford highlights how the application of IP video and digital signage can extend video communication beyond the classroom and offer a valuable tool for the entire educational community. In an increasingly on-demand world, integrated IP video and digital signage technology has the ability to develop the abilities of younger audiences, while still giving educators the power to effectively manage content"  Colin Farquhar, CEO Exterity

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"Penn-Trafford highlights how the application of IP video and digital signage can extend video communication beyond the classroom and offer a valuable tool for the entire educational community. In an increasingly on-demand world, integrated IP video and digital signage technology has the ability to develop the abilities of younger audiences, while still giving educators the power to effectively manage content."

Colin Farquhar, CEO, Exterity

The Result

Following a successful deployment, the school is now able to deliver HD video and signage content to any screen – a capability that has proven popular with both students and teachers. Steve Vinton, Video Product Teacher at Penn-Trafford High School recounts an occasion before homecoming when the school wanted to raise an important issue: “We wanted to show a video explaining the dangers of underage drinking. It was a very powerful video to get people to pause and think, but we didn’t have the capacity in our school auditorium to bring together the whole student body. Rather than congregating in the auditorium, the video feed was streamed via an AvediaStream Encoder to AvediaPlayer Receiver set-top boxes across campus, so students could watch it in smaller groups. The feedback we received was very positive and the video had more of an impact.”

The school also used the Exterity system for live broadcasts from guest speakers before prom to encourage students to think about being responsible and safe. Teachers can now use video more effectively in the classroom and access VoD content in areas like history, math and science for instant playback, instead of having to manually move physical media around the campus.

Video is also now available in the school’s independent study rooms, media center and common areas where students can collaborate. The District is now looking at expanding the IP video and digital signage system to include its elementary and middle schools, as well as integrate its emergency messaging protocols to quickly communicate across the entire campus in the event of any incident.

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