AWS Public Sector Blog

Mission critical cloud: Remote education, on the Fix This podcast

Fix This episode 14 - Mission critical cloud: Remote educationThe second part of the Mission Critical Cloud Fix This podcast mini-series by Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services (AWS), is now live. We explored remote education with the Los Angeles County Unified School District (LAUSD), Athabasca University, and Pearson. You can stream all episodes on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherTuneInOvercastiHeartRadio, and via RSS.

In this episode, we took a deep dive with these three customers to learn more about how remote education affects students, teachers, and administrators from K12 through higher education. We also discussed the unique challenges facing our education customers globally and how cloud computing helps education institutions deliver on their missions.

With social distancing measures in place, many classes no longer gather in traditional classroom settings. And yet, school districts, universities, and educational institutions have worked hard to continue to meet students’ needs. The social changes that come with being outside of the classroom are immense. Kids aren’t connecting in the same ways they previously could with regular in-person contact with teachers and friends.

Our first interview featured Dr. David Baca, chief of schools of LAUSD—the second largest K12 public school district in the US. He shared how the school district was able to set up an Amazon Connect call center in a matter of days to handle the surge in calls. The solution has allowed the district to answer students’ and parents’ questions, guide callers to critical information, and even provide a mental health hotline.

Next, we talked with Jennifer Schaeffer, vice president of IT and chief information officer of Athabasca University, Canada’s only 100 percent open and online university. Athabasca University has over 40,000 students, and as an online university, COVID-19 did not interrupt the university’s ability to provide continuity for students’ coursework. However, Athabasca University had to quickly pivot its backend offices to remote work for 180 staff members. Tune in to hear how Athabasca University deployed Amazon WorkSpaces to confirm its staff was ready to continue delivering for students, even while remote.

Lastly, we chatted with Andrew Gilfillan, vice president of product management at Pearson, a global learning company. Flexible learning is central to how Pearson aims to meet student and teacher needs. Andrew walked us through some of Pearson’s latest developments, including its Revel and eText products, which improve learner accessibility to information and allow students to interact with multimedia coursework on virtually any device.

To hear from more customers and learn about the work AWS does with the public sector globally, register for the upcoming AWS Public Sector Summit Online, taking place on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. There will be a day of virtual sessions, moderated chats, a keynote, and interactive experiences.

Listen to the first episode in this series, Mission critical cloud: A chat with AWS leaders. And, stay tuned for part three of Teresa’s Mission Critical Cloud series, where she’ll return to take a deep dive into state and local government, and how the cloud helps them deliver critical services to citizens. Stream all Fix This episodes on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherTuneInOvercastiHeartRadio, and via RSS.