Ohio District Deploys Digital Media Management Across All Campuses

Akron Public Schools (APS) of Akron, OH, has deployed Safari Montage digital servers in all 54 of its school facilities. In addition to offering its students an array of pre-loaded and school-created digital content, the district is using the video servers to deliver the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center's (NURFC) vast collection of educational videos, which it plans to use as an integral part of its 8th grade United States History curriculum.

NURFC had already donated a Safari Montage WAN1000 server, currently installed at the APS district office. The partnership between APS, NURFC, and Safari "will use the technology to deliver continuous learning about the importance of human relations, as embodied in the historical and contemporary events presented in the Freedom Center's digital media package," explained NURFC Chief Innovation Officer Ernest Perry. "Appreciation and respect for diversity, the commonalities of shared experience and how people, working together, have positively changed their communities are themes that will be emphasized throughout the year-long project, which includes visits to the Freedom Center and training across Akron Public Schools."

Adam Motter, a social studies learning specialist with APS, called the product an easy-to-use tool and said the district's teachers "love the fact that these programs come with lesson ideas, quizzes and other teacher's aides not available via the Web, providing for great learning opportunities for our students."

But while the servers offer APS teachers and students a valuable educational resource, noted APS Director of Information Services Mark Bussey, they don't drain a precious technological one. "Because Safari Montage uses WAN/LAN bandwidth," he explained, "we are not taxing our Internet bandwidth further to play these videos in the classroom. It's also great because teachers can quickly queue up programs they need to capture teachable moments."

The servers come preloaded with titles from several leading educational video publishers, including Schlessinger Media, PBS, BBC, and Scholastic. In addition, the technology provides users the ability to upload and manage their own digital video and other content, and to disseminate it to all classrooms throughout a district.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.