Over the past decade, the eLearning team at Seminole State watched as video organically grew to become a regular part of students’ learning experiences at the school. Yet as different instructors and departments adopted the technology, a lack of standardization quickly began to create a number of new challenges when it came to recording, streaming, and sharing video across campus.
The school had tried and tested a range of point solutions for video production and streaming – including tools from Adobe and Camtasia – but no single solution met every need. Storage, editing, sharing, and analytics, in particular, had all proven to be difficult issues. Hoping to better serve the needs of several hundred faculty and more than 30,000 students, Seminole State began a search for a single video platform that could do it all.
As the eLearning team began researching complete video platforms, they quickly narrowed the candidates down to Kaltura and Panopto. Free trials were set up with both solution providers.
“With Kaltura, we needed a number of workarounds to enable some of the features to work as we wanted them to,” says Michael McCurdy, Instructional Technology Specialist at Seminole State College. “When we tried Panopto, everything just clicked.”
The Seminole State College Music Department is one of the school’s best connections to its community, and an important part of how the college interacts with students, alums, donors, and others. To build upon that connection, the department set a goal: to live stream every concert it held so that anyone could watch.
Panopto was a natural choice for the task. With Panopto, anyone can live stream video presentations right from their Windows or Mac laptop simply by selecting a single checkbox. Live video is streamed efficiently over the internet for optimal playback, and it can be shared securely with a restricted set of viewers or broadcast publicly to an audience of tens of thousands. Although Seminole State was still only testing Panopto and had only limited experience with the platform, the first live concert was streamed without any difficulties.
With the enthusiasm following the success of the Music Department’s webcast, the university soon found demand for Panopto growing across campus. For Seminole State, Panopto’s value was not only in what it could record but how easy the platform made video all around. That started with Panopto’s Remote Recorder feature, which enables administrators to schedule recordings in advance.
“From the beginning, we fell in love with the Remote Recorder,” says McCurdy. “It really reduced the workload for the media services department. We just program in the classes, and the rooms turn on and off automatically. We don’t have to worry about anything.”
Likewise, Panopto’s integration with the school’s learning management system, Canvas, made it easy for instructors and students to share and watch the recordings.
“Integrating Panopto with Canvas almost makes the technology transparent,” McCurdy says. “Now students can just click a link or download a video podcast to watch later, and no matter where they are or what device they’re on, the video just works.”
Mostly, the university just valued Panopto’s flexible approach to video management.
“Our professors all had different needs when it came to video, and Panopto gave us an answer for all of them,” says McCurdy. “Now if they want they can edit recordings, schedule when videos will and won’t be available to students, and even record other materials like lab demonstrations or flipped classroom lectures.”
“With Kaltura, we needed a number of workarounds to enable some of the features to work as we wanted them to. When we tried Panopto, everything just clicked.”Michael McCurdy, Instructional Technology Specialist – Seminole State College
With Panopto now rolled out across campus, video is supporting learning experiences almost everywhere at Seminole State.
An early adopter of the flipped classroom model, chemistry professor Deborah Mead relies on Panopto to simultaneously capture multiple video feeds, enabling her to include whiteboard drawings, lab experiments, traditional slides, and more in her pre-class videos. Not only does Panopto easily support Professor Mead’s complex recordings, but it also provides her with useful new insights.
Panopto is also vital to the Seminole State School of Public Safety’s Emergency Medical Services program, which had been looking for a way to overcome the inherent difficulties of providing EMS education to full-time first responders who weren’t available to attend classes simultaneously. Panopto allowed the EMS faculty to create what they coined a “Shift-Friendly” class. With this new model, faculty can stream a class for those who can’t attend in person while also making a recording available for anyone to watch on demand.
With the Panopto native mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as Panopto’s personal assignment folder feature, the eLearning Department at Seminole State was able to assist Speech faculty in designing a course that provided students online with the same level of academic rigor and audience engagement as their on-campus counterparts. Distant learners now simply use their own personal mobile device and the Panopto mobile app to record themselves delivering presentations to their audience. Once completed, the recordings are then automatically uploaded to the student’s designated assignment folder where they can be reviewed on-demand by instructors for grading and additional feedback.
Seminole State had been using video to solve learning challenges here and there for years, but when the college adopted a more comprehensive video platform, the true potential value of video became clear. Today, the school is proud to provide its students with a modern learning experience – one with more flexible instruction, more visual classroom examples, and more valuable study resources.