Videoconferencing: security, usability the key for schools
SPONSORED: Mail & Gaurdian 9 June 2020
As schools across South Africa start to open up with the gradual phasing in of grades, the interest in video and collaboration platforms still remains high, as schools look to get their classrooms online and connect students and teachers remotely. But while some platforms have seen overnight success, many local schools have concerns about security, user-friendliness, and what seems to be an overwhelming array of choices.
Privacy-minded schools should consider their video-conferencing options carefully, says Renaldo Muregess, who heads product strategy at managed business service provider Itec. There is often a trade-off between security and usability when opting for a single platform, and schools should look for systems that support multiple software options while ensuring the online safety of staff and learners.
Itec is currently running a pilot project with a Johannesburg school using the cloud-based video conferencing provider StarLeaf, which not only offers a more secure video-conferencing experience, but also allows users to connect across a range of platforms and can control bandwidth consumption per user, regardless of location or device, with the existing tools they have in place. StarLeaf’s latest new features include the ability to integrate easily with Microsoft Teams.
“While there’s a plethora of collaboration tools on the market today, Itec shares StarLeaf’s approach that collaboration should not be restricted to one platform. Teachers and students should have the ability to communicate in the way that works best for them, and we should support schools on the journey to creating their own collaboration solution that’s easy and safe,” said Muregess.
By integrating with other platforms such as Microsoft Teams, StarLeaf enables users to collaborate from a single workspace and increases productivity for schools that have Microsoft Teams or other platforms, with users able to meet with anyone, anywhere and on any device, both internally or remotely.
StarLeaf’s major selling point for many schools across the world has been its focus on security. The platform is secure from would-be attackers intercepting messages or accessing meeting sessions, as it enforces encryption. It owns and manages its own service, so it is not exposed to potential security or reliability issues in third party services, and it does not share user data.
“It’s clear that technology and cloud software tools can play a major role in keeping South African companies and educational organisations connected and working as close to business as usual in the face of the Coronavirus,” said Muregess.
To find out more about Itec’s flexible subscription model and StarLeaf packages click here