Beijing Xicheng

At a Glance

  • Promotes international collaboration
  • Students are exposed to higher learning
  • Drives down cost of learning

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Beijing’s First Distance Learning Initiative Lowers Costs and Improves Quality of Education at 260 Schools in Xicheng District

In Beijing’s Xicheng District, China’s future leaders, business people, innovators, and academics can perfect their English by taking classes at a school in Connecticut or hone their entrepreneurial know-how with guidance from a business teacher in Australia. Yet no matter where they go, they can still be home in time for dinner.

It’s all possible thanks to a high-definition video collaboration environment installed in more than 260 schools and educational institutions, from kindergartens to vocational schools. The network was launched in 2012 when
the Educational Commission of the Xicheng District responded to a mandate from China’s Ministry of Education urging the development of e-learning plans—part of China’s strategy to prepare millions of youth for the country’s emergence as an economic giant.

“Our goal is to make the best use of our existing educational resources while promoting international collaboration,” says Liu Zhong, deputy director of the Educational Commission of the Xicheng District. “This state-of-the-art distance
learning system connects all the parties that will participate in this educational exchange—member schools, domestic partners, and international partners.”

As the heart of Beijing’s first distance learning initiative, the Polycom network offers an opportunity to transform education for students, faculty, and schools:

  • Students can take virtual field trips to places they may never
    visit in person.
  • Experts can interactively teach classes from institutions half a
    world away.
  • Students learn about communicating with peers from
    other cultures by collaborating face-to-face with their
    counterparts throughout China and beyond.
  • Teachers can save time and improve their skills by
    participating in interactive seminars and workshops
    via video collaboration.
  • Students are exposed to higher learning
    curriculum via collaboration with local, national
    and international universities.
  • Schools drive down the cost of education by sharing
    knowledge and limited resources across dozens if not
    hundreds of schools.

Bandwidth-efficient and easy

An array of Polycom collaboration environments tap into Beijing’s Education Metropolitan Area Network—a broadband
backbone available to all institutions. The devices range from PCs to fully integrated room systems with ceilingmounted microphones and cameras that automatically track active speakers. Interactive whiteboards let teachers share slides, whiteboard diagrams, and other content with remote participants. The Polycom RealPresence Platform lets administrators easily manage video and audio conferences within the district and beyond.

The district’s Liu Zhong says Polycom met all its criteria for a distance learning system that delivers a quality,  highdefinition experience at lower bandwidths—and one capable of interoperating with other systems across the country or around the world. “Polycom provides a bandwidth-efficient system built around industry standards so we can focus on teaching, collaborating, and creating the next generation of education in Xicheng.”

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