You’ll most likely never hear someone from the Beecome team use the word “client” to refer to a university or other highered institution with whom we work. Beecome partners up with a school and from that moment on a relationship is formed. Along the school year we collaborate and work side by side to try and imagine how we can evolve together and make the physical learning environment even more adapted to the digital one.
Teaching institutions placed in large cities such as Paris, Chicago or Singapore face many challenges, time of commute being the most complex of all.
In 2019 the city of Paris found itself confronted with the reality of having its entire public transportation system immotile due to strikes that lasted 42 days.
For higher education institutions, that meant professors, administrative staff and students having great difficulty to move between their homes and the classroom.
Beecome was approached by L’École Supérieure de Publicité, a partner college, to try and brainstorm a possible solution that could facilitate exchanges between professors and students during this period.
Often mainstream professional videoconference solutions aren’t adapted to the specifics required in order to enable classroom management. Attendance, oral participation, student engagement are key elements to take into consideration once building a virtual and live classroom environment.
During 2 months the Beecome team was entirely dedicated to the design and the technical try outs of this very challenging Proof of Concept (PoC) that later was given the name Room.
The different scenarios
Scenario 1: The professor teaches from home
Scenario 2: The professor is at school, some students are home
Each of those two scenarios were subdivided in sub scenarios, to make sure we would anticipate all possible situations.
Timeline and plan of action
The deadline was clear : December 5th 2019 the feature Room would have to be up and running. With a very serious deadline comes a very serious planning.
This is how it looked like our schedule 15 days before the launch of our PoC with ESP.
November – December 2019
Network test between Beecome HQ and a higher education structure
November 21 (morning)
Firewall test between Beecome HQ and the ESP administrative staff
November 21 (afternoon)
Video testing between Beecome HQ and ESP’s administrative staff
Choosing a classroom for the test run:
Talk with the pedagogical team in order to quickly choose an ideal classroom in which we will run the test (one with a max of students possible). Get the contact of the lecturer assigned to this course.
test in a ESP classroom in the presence of the Beecome Team
Scenarios to be tested:
Streaming 1 → to many (simulation of 30 classrooms: mode 1 to 1)
*Warn students to bring their headphones for scenario 1
Scenario 02) Streaming 1 → to 1 (1 single streaming on a giant screen)
To do once on site: Documentation of possible bugs
November 25 or 29
Remote chat with the staff in order to solve possible bugs:
Remote discussion about weak spots found during the 1st run and improvements already in place ever since.
Last week of November
Up and Running:
Use of the new feature on Day 01 of the strike
And this was the average amount of screens per developer 15 days before the launch ? ? ?
When there is so much in stake every detail matters. Being on site and run technical tests with real classrooms was extremely important to ensure the implementation protocol was moving towards the right direction and on time.
But above all, having a close relation with students and professors is what gives us precious feedback and a better understanding of their needs and working habits.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Caroline Cangi – Operations Director – ESP Paris
To be part of the transition
We are witnessing a major transition phase where jobs and the perception of work is changing. It’s only natural that learning environments are adapting to the new ways societies are organising themselves.
The implementation of an education technology solution can be as plural as the community whom will benefit from it. It’s ever changing and ever evolving. Beecome has as its ultimate goal to give support and accompany its Higher Education partners throughout the entire process.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”