When Nick Ramsay, School Technical Support Officer at Emmaus Catholic College, one of around 83 schools within the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, overheard a conversation between the school, CEDP, and architects for plans to refurbish the CANA Hospitality centre (two food technology kitchens, one industrial kitchen, and a preparation space), he instantly saw it as an opportunity to insert Vivi into the discussion.
Seeking a solution for our new inquiry learning spaces
“The architect indicated that we could set up screens throughout the space to display and share learning ideas such as recipes during lessons managed centrally using Apple TVs when I jumped in and said that’s not possible,” Nick said.
“I’d heard about Vivi through another IT Manager who joined our Diocese from a Sydney school and found out they had deployed the technology in their school, and everything I’d heard was positive – they loved it. I used this opportunity to introduce Vivi to our school to solve a problem we have had for a long time.
“I did a little research and presented the software to the Principal highlighting it as being so much better than anything we already had, which was mostly an inconsistent roll-out of Apple TVs. The problem with Apple TVs is that with our newly-established inquiry learning spaces where some of our spaces have 12 displays, displaying the contents from a device across 12 separate Apple TVs in one space is impossible. The result was that teachers were restricted in maximizing the sharing of ideas/resources within an inquiry hub often having to bring the students to one corner of the room to share content using a single Apple TV.
“With each Apple TV, I had to configure every box individually to lock it down, because they do not have any security on them as they are made and marketed as a home product, not for schools and enterprises. With Vivi, we can see and limit who connects to a screen, and a teacher can allow a student to share their screen.
“As a result of six months of testing it in our CANA hospitality centre, I presented an informed case to the College Principal about implementing Vivi, a project he was happy to invest in. We now have 93 Vivi-enabled displays and plan on rolling out another 20. For what we have needed, Vivi has done it all, it’s exactly the solution and has allowed us to expand our fleet to allow Windows and Chromebook devices to be introduced at the college as part of bring your own learning device (BYOLD) as well.”
Custom school announcements on every screen
Nick’s IT Trainee, David Montesin, took the use of this innovation a step further by taking advantage of displaying a web page through every learning space and hallway (via digital signage) screens to show a custom view of real-time school notifications accessed from their student management system RSS feed.
“When our staff, students, and visitors walk within our school of a day, all 93 displays are displaying the same school-wide notifications and communications. We also use these custom web pages to show clocks and timers during exams, which I know Vivi is building already, but the daily notices have been very popular and always generate interest with guests.”
Promoting blended learning because of remote learning
“The school and teaching staff have post remote learning identified many new ways to support the teaching and learning using a more blended approach of both face to face and technology-driven learning experiences”, Nick said.
“Student-centered and collaborative learning is empowering our young men and women and their engagement levels and attendance rates are growing at a fast pace each and every day, with the new technologies being one of the catalysts for a more vibrant learning community.
“These new technologies such as Vivi have supported our workflows through the COVID period also. Last year, we could not accommodate a full hall of students and parents for our graduation event, so we streamed it live to YouTube to allow parents to view it and used the Signage feature on Vivi to broadcast the event to classrooms for the students in real-time. As far as we are aware, this is the first time anything like this has been possible before in our diocese and Vivi helped make it so much easier.”
“Having Vivi in every classroom makes my life easier. It is the one thing that works across the board, the one thing that brings it all together for us. The next stage of our school refurbishments will be our science labs and part of the design that the Principal has agreed to is to include multiple TVs in the four new laboratories and as such more Vivi to accommodate more collaboration”.
As well as the functionality Vivi brought to the classroom, the teachers quickly learned to rely on it. “That’s one of the great things about Vivi,” says Burgess. “Before Vivi, we were forever replacing lost or broken HDMI cables. When people went to project, they couldn’t. Now, there’s no reason why our teachers can’t project—every room has Vivi and everyone knows how it works.”
How Barker College leveraged the capability of its existing Vivi fleet to deliver an engaging digital signage solution and saved money in the process.