Oldham schools learn the benefits of videoconferencing

Schools in Greater Manchester are set to benefit from the use of high definition videoconferencing technology as part of a council-led drive to enhance the educational process for students and teachers.

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council is working with Codian and LifeSize to equip more than 120 primary, secondary and special schools with what it is calling 'a bridge for learning' in the hope that, as well as enhancing the lives of local teachers and learners, other councils will realise the benefits of the technology and follow suit.

"We are very excited about partnering with LifeSize and Codian to provide such innovative videoconferencing technology to Oldham's schools. Enabling the borough's children and young people to realise their potential, raising educational standards and promoting community cohesion are at the heart of much of the council's work," said Ruth Baldwin, Oldham Council's executive director for children, young people and families.

"Introducing this new facility will revolutionise learning and teaching and play a key role in helping us to achieve these aims. Oldham will be a model of excellence for other local authorities, schools and learning establishments across the UK and ultimately around the globe."

After researching the market and considering a number of alternatives, Oldham eventually decided to implement LifeSize Team systems and Codian MCU 4500 Series conferencing bridges.

Using the technology, students will be able to benefit from joint instruction, virtual fieldtrips, meetings and counselling sessions, while teachers can take advantage of similar benefits as well as increased training opportunities.

"ICT is transforming learning and teaching throughout the UK," said the man leading the project, Steve Hoodman, the council's head of ICT strategy for children, young people and families.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.