This week in #EducationNow, join us as we journey to Germany, where Universität Lübeck launched Webex at exactly the right moment in time.
What would your digital transformation look like in an ideal world? Is there ever a perfect time to transform?
It goes without saying that no one could have predicted the events of this year, nor their impact on education. COVID-19 swept across the planet, accelerating digital transformation plans years in the making and forcing education institutions to rapidly pivot to distance learning.
Meet University Lübeck
University Lübeck is a top-rated research university – and Networking Academy – in Northern Germany. Their motto? “Im Fokus das Leben,” or “Focus on Life.” With student life largely concentrated on the campus and cutting-edge research populating its labs, University Lübeck’s focus was indeed on life and learning on the campus.
With the strong emphasis on on-campus learning outcomes and models, the university had a limited focus on digital learning until 2017, when they began to ask: how can we enable collaboration and foster discussion at our university through digital learning tools?
In addition to the possibility of video conferencing, it was particularly important to promote cooperation and integration. The University of Lübeck had already been working with Cisco for many years and the majority of the existing hardware was from Cisco.
A look at Cisco’s collaboration solutions quickly brought the obvious answer to their question: Webex.
Lübeck Launches Webex
“Video has the power to connect people in a way that more traditional means of communication can’t. And Webex also opened up the opportunity for our students to work together in online spaces. It was exactly what we were looking for.”Paul Freiberg, IT Specialist at University Lübeck
A small pilot of students and teachers in the Institute for IT Security launched seminars and an international research collaboration that united academics across continents. The outcome? Powerful collaboration, and happy students and scholars alike.
The IT team decided to scale Webex to the entire university.
Then, COVID-19 hit.
There is never a perfect moment for transformation. But with the right tools and teams in place, that critical moment does not loom quite so large.
In just weeks, University Lübeck went from 100 Webex users to over 2,600. A university that barely three years before had never held a digital class, was entirely online.
Like University Lübeck’s motto, Coronavirus has given us an opportunity to Focus on Life – and most particularly on the life that we will build in a post-COVID world. At University Lübeck, that life will now span both digital and physical spaces. It will empower researchers to collaborate globally. It will securely bring students, teachers, and administrators together to celebrate learning – no matter where they may physically be located.
How did your education institution respond to COVID-19? Tell us more in the comments and stay tuned for next week’s blog on Security and the Cisco Networking Academy. In the meantime, explore how Cisco is transforming education here.