Launching an Online Classroom for Hubei Students in Just One Day

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By Alibaba Cloud ApsaraVideo team.

The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus left countless high school seniors in China confused as they still needed to prepare for Gaokao, China’s National College Entrance Exam. With the dangerous of the legal disease at large, China’s Ministry of Education issued a “Notice on the Postponement of the 2020 Spring Semester.” But, with only 120 days before Gaokao, even though schools were closed, the learning had to carry on for high school seniors.

Launching an Online Classroom for Hubei High School Students

For high school seniors in China, the epidemic in China closely coincided with this year’s crucial time for preparing for Gaokao, arguably one of the most important tests in any Chinese student’s life. In order to allow students to attend classes as usual, Huanggang High School, located in Hubei, not too far away from Wuhan, switched over to online class broadcasts for its senior class. This ensured that the students still had the opportunity to prepare for Gaokao and finish their studies.

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Live Classroom broadcasts for Hubei High School Seniors

The launch of online classroom broadcasts for Huanggang high-schoolers was made possible by PolyV and Alibaba Cloud’s ApsaraVideo. In just one day, PolyV developed the main platform, as an emergency solution for online live classroom broadcasts. This solution allowed Huanggang High School seniors to attend their classes online. For this solution, Alibaba Cloud’s ApsaraVideo products team provided the resource auto scaling, massive data processing, and data intelligence capabilities needed for the service to work. At the same time, Alibaba Cloud also deployed cloud product capabilities for live streaming, video on-demand services, and other vertical video scenarios. As such, Alibaba was able to ensure system stability in high-concurrency scenarios.

Thanks to all of these efforts, the Hubei high school seniors were able to use their computers, tablets, televisions, and other home devices to attend virtual classes by simply scanning a QR code or accessing a link to go online. The live classrooms also provided Q&A, sign-in, and voice interaction functions to let students and teachers communicate efficiently. The school has already indicated that it plans to extend these live classrooms to other schools in the future.

How the Solution Was Achieved

The online classrooms solution has helped to ensure the health and safety of both the teachers and students, by allowing them to maintain social distance. At the same time, the solution helped provide high school seniors with a good tool to help them to continue to prepare for the upcoming exam. Starting on the day before Chuxi, or Chinese New Year’s Eve, PolyV and Alibaba Cloud quickly began work on the solution.

PolyV stood on the front lines, providing quick responses, centrally dispatching resources, and developing scenario-specific and all-in-one online live broadcast solutions. They opened up all-terminal live broadcast teaching tools with 24/7 online technical support. They sought to quickly interface with the existing education systems and help schools build multi-terminal remote teaching applications.

In order to provide support, Alibaba Cloud offered several cloud IaaS products to PolyV, including ApsaraVideo Live, NarrowBand HD Transcoding, Content Delivery Network (CDN), Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Object Storage Service (OSS), and Cloud Security services. All of these products and services output Alibaba Cloud’s powerful infrastructure and advanced cloud technologies to ensure that the live streaming systems could maintain HD image quality and a smooth playback experience despite a dramatic increase in demand. On an even larger scale, Alibaba Cloud provided the technological support necessary for several other online education platforms, video conferencing system, and other high-concurrency scenarios during the coronavirus epidemic in China.

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So far, the online classroom solution jointly created by Alibaba Cloud and PolyV has already helped hundreds of public schools, not just the Huanggang High School discussed above. All of these efforts have allowed schools to quickly transition from offline teaching to online teaching, ensuring the health and safety of all students and teachers.

How ApsaraVideo Has Empowered This Solution

In the face of the coronavirus epidemic in China, Alibaba Cloud technicians have felt a great duty to do their part to help. During the Spring Festival holiday, education departments across the country successively announced that they would postpone the start of the school semester and began to set up online classrooms. Right away, Alibaba Cloud’s ApsaraVideo team leaped into action.

As a response, the team immediately brought together several top talents to face the explosive growth in online education businesses, and performed system-wide optimization and O&M assurance work in advance. At the same time, the team also proactively output scenario-based video PaaS solutions. For institutions with poor IT infrastructure and insufficient technical capabilities, Alibaba Cloud provided special point-to-point technical support and 24/7 online availability. In addition to Huanggang,the team was also essential in developing online classrooms in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wuhan, and dozens of other cities across Mainland China.

To help more primary and secondary school students to keep learning while classes were suspended, Alibaba Cloud launched a special support program for online education, set up a “Keep Learning While Classes Are Suspended” alliance, and unleashed the power of our underlying resources and technologies. By working with dozens of video technology platforms, the ApsaraVideo team launched online education solutions to ensure that primary and secondary schools across the country can smoothly and reliably carry out online teaching and management.

Everyone must do their part to fight the epidemic. Although schools are not at the frontline in this fight, they must actively work to ensure that the vast majority of students can continue their education over the Internet. In support of their efforts, Alibaba Cloud and its partners will continue to provide technical support and work with schools, teachers, and students to make sure that learning is continued even with classes suspended.

While continuing to wage war against the worldwide outbreak, Alibaba Cloud will play its part and will do all it can to help others in their battles with the coronavirus. Learn how we can support your business continuity at https://www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/fight-coronavirus-covid-19

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