A central hub for learning in the region, Bridgwater College provides a wide variety of vocational and academic courses from sixth form through to degree level, catering to everyone from school leavers to mature students.
With four campuses spread across Somerset, housing around 10,000 students and 1,500 staff, Bridgwater College has an array of challenges to overcome when creating an inspirational and innovative learning environment for all of its students, including cross-campus communication, management of media resources and access to content.
To solve these challenges Bridgwater College looked to Tripleplay’s digital media solutions, implementing a fully integrated Digital Signage, IPTV and Video on Demand streaming system.
David Foster, Head of IT at Bridgwater College comments; “We have a lot of staff and students with whom we need to communicate and who require content services, so we had to find a solution that could enable both more simply and be managed centrally. We found that solution with Tripleplay.
“Working with BizStream, a Tripleplay partner, and Tripleplay themselves we created a system that can serve students regardless of location or device and can be updated and amended by any authorised member of staff regardless of where they are in the world. This has led to us being able to provide a standardised service to all our people no matter which campus they study from.”
In all there are eleven Digital Signage screens with IPTV capability installed around Bridgwater College, each screen is zoned to allow relevant content playlists to be displayed for individual departments in which they are operating. These playlists are coordinated centrally with content and Playlists supplied by a nominated member of staff from each department and the college’s marketing team, all via a Signage Administrators group email account.
Playlists are operated separately for Reception, Business Studies, Land Based Studies and Sport, Arts and Technology, The Student’s Union, Student Services, on site Restaurants and refreshment sites and the Technology Help Desk. Prior to this implementation, the only form of signage the College operated was two CRT TVs running from a PowerPoint presentation.
David Foster continued; “With the signage system in place we can now communicate to our students much more easily, and in a more passive, less formal manner. With the regularity of content changes and additions the displays are kept fresh and active at all times, with much of the content created by the marketing department.
“With the incorporation of the TripleTV IPTV solution into TripleSign we can also provide live TV to communal spaces at appropriate times during the day as part of our signage playlists. In the past this would’ve involved having to physically change the channel on each of our TVs, a small responsibility that we now don’t have.”
Bridgwater College also implemented the TripleVOD streaming solution and TripleChoice Media Portal to manage and access their digital learning content, creating an extensive library of recorded TV footage, films, learning content, student work and training videos, this being managed by their eLearning team.
By linking the TripleChoice system to Bridgwater College’s Active Directory content can be accessed by staff or student alike via a web portal from within the college and from any PC or mobile device on or off campus using their existing college login details. This in itself could have brought licensing and permission issues; however, the Tripleplay system locks any unlicensed footage from being viewed if it is not accessed via the College IP network. In an attempt to ensure that the entire faculty and student body is aware of the available resources streaming content is linked to the College’s Blackboard and Heritage Library systems, enabling access through the most familiar and comfortable method for every user, with future upgrades planned to enable the embedding of video content from the TripleChoice system.
Bridgwater College’s solution has grown organically since implementation in 2008, with extra signage screens and new features added to the Media Portal, making certain that the changing demands and needs of the College are consistently met.
Having made the decision to allow all students and staff the ability to record and add their own content, the College has implemented a 15TB video content storage server. This has guaranteed that all content recording demands are met by the system; ensuring user confidence and uptake has remained high.
David Foster added; “Our video on demand solution is packed with wonderful features, creating an exceptional user experience, whilst also giving administration staff great peace of mind with its intelligent system controls.”
“TripleVOD has proven to be an outstanding investment. It is simple to use, can be centrally managed and enables access to content from anywhere we choose.”