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Attention Class, Time to Launch Your Vonage Video


A teacher instructing through a video
Image: Blue Planet Studio -
Just as students and teachers have had to adjust to learning and teaching remotely, education technology provider Top Hat has had to make a similar shift — rethinking how they serve the schools and revamping its learning courseware platform in preparation for the fall 2020 academic year.
As part of the platform update, Top Hat has enhanced its video capability by leveraging the Vonage Video API, Bhavin Shah, CTO for Top Hat, shared in a No Jitter briefing.
Top Hat decided to turn to Vonage for practical reasons — they didn’t want to create a video solution from scratch, Shah said. “WebRTC video streaming gets complicated, and it's not easy to solve in a three-month period,” he said. Additionally, using the Video API, Top Hat has been able to bake the video conferencing capabilities into the platform, so users have access to their learning materials and video service in one place, Shah went on to say.
Additionally, these video capabilities are helping Top Hat address historical issues with in-room teaching/learning experiences, namely that this “sage of the stage” model didn’t necessarily produce a desired level of student/teacher engagement, Shah said. Now with video, students and teachers can more easily jump into a conversation or discussions, for improved engagement, he said.
With the embedded video, Top Hat also is able to provide lecture recordings available for students to review at any time, Shah said. This is particularly beneficial for students who have missed class, whether for an emergency, an extracurricular activity, or other reason, he added.
Besides the video capability, Top Hat also recently added a community chat capability that allows students and teachers to interact during and outside normal lecture hours. This, too, furthers engagement, allowing them to build a sense of community throughout the experience, Shah said.
While Shah was reluctant to say if he thinks remote teaching/learning will be the norm for the future, he did note how the benefits of video are proving themselves now and that its use will continue unabated.