Providing remote learning for millions of Israel students through live stream
With students around the world now learning from home due to COVID-19, governments and educators are using technology to provide remote learning experiences. In Israel, the Ministry of Education collaborated with education technology (EdTech) companies and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide continuity of learning for 1.8 million students.
Together, AWS, the Israel Center for Educational Technology (CET), Lnet, and Kaltura enabled preschool through high school students to access live-streamed classes while schools are closed. CET delivers content for students in grades 1-6, while Lnet and Kaltura support preschoolers and grades 7-12. These EdTech companies also provide virtual classroom instruction in Hebrew and Arabic.
Developing a sustainable, live-stream solution for continuity of learning
CET turned to AWS to help develop a remote learning solution that could increase access for students across the country’s major broadcast channels. To avoid potential disruptions in content delivery and maintain educational continuity, the solution needed to be fully operational in a short timeframe.
As schools closed, CET coordinated online video instruction in a live-production studio, making broadcasts of teacher-led sessions available online. Faced with the likelihood of extended school closures, CET needed to accelerate its ability to scale more content to more device types in various formats. However, the studio’s technology could only accommodate a single live stream per channel with limited format options.
AWS worked with CET to design and implement a solution. Within less than 48 hours, the team successfully tested a live, end-to-end video production workflow built with AWS Media Services and Amazon CloudFront. AWS Elemental MediaLive ingests and encodes live video feeds, which are then formatted for different mobile devices using AWS Elemental MediaPackage. Amazon CloudFront distributes the content to viewers.
AWS Elemental MediaConnect is used as an additional output channel to deliver content via the Zixi protocol to cable TV providers. Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) provide monitoring and alert notifications to the system operators, and Amazon Athena and Amazon QuickSight support data analysis. This provides statistics required by the Ministry of Education, such as the total number of viewers and number of viewers per channel. Israel’s major TV providers – Yes, Hot, Partner, and Cellcom — also receive the live feeds from CET to broadcast to their viewers.
“Working with AWS teams 24×7 and leveraging AWS expertise in media, networking, security and analytics, we were able to deliver a solution in this extraordinary time,” said Haim Hershko Yavor, CIO of CET. “This experience opened our eyes to the tremendous capabilities that can be accomplished by using AWS.”
CET now provides a robust, scalable, end-to-end live broadcasting solution, including monitoring and viewer analytics, which allows primary school students in Israel to resume their studies. Within a week of launching the service, CET reported hundreds of thousands of unique users across all platforms and continues to see increasing demand from students.
Expanding access to live-streamed education to multiple platforms and devices
Lnet uses the Kaltura video platform to provide remote learning technology for Israeli students. When students transitioned to remote learning, Lnet worked quickly with Kaltura to build a solution for distributing educational content via the local point of presence (POP) of Amazon CloudFront. This created efficient, reliable, and secure delivery to all of Israel’s broadcast TV networks, as well as enabled access online and on multiple mobile devices.
To support this effort, Kaltura video experts extended their live broadcast suite to address immediate remote learning needs. Using Kaltura’s live streaming service, together with an integrated on-demand video portal and an interactive video player, Lnet can now provide Israel’s preschoolers, junior, and high school students with engaging and meaningful learning experiences.
Through this solution, Lnet educational content reaches more than 100,000 live and video-on-demand viewers daily across web, TV, mobile, and game consoles, and the Ministry of Education has access to powerful in-depth video engagement analytics that can be used to evaluate content effectiveness and learner progress. Future plans include enabling a smooth transition between both live nationwide broadcasts and real-time virtual classrooms, as well as launching a joint live and VOD viewing experience from home. This will empower teachers to conduct open discussions and live Q&A sessions with students.
“Our mission in this important initiative is to ensure that educators have the technology they need to help keep students learning and engaged during these challenging times. The powerful combination of Kaltura’s technology together with AWS, enables us to give all students and teachers the tools they need right now to continue their education,” said Zohar Babin, EVP Platform and Growth of Kaltura.
For educators who are exploring ways to implement or augment remote learning solutions, AWS has the following helpful materials:
- AWS has expanded access to its suite of tools to support remote learning and teaching.
- Visit the Media for Education web page for additional content.
- The Solutions Guide to Media in Education explores use cases of media for educational organizations.
- A recent webinar with Ravensbourne University offers best practices for university students and educators in deploying live-streaming video.