ChanceLight™ Behavioral Health & Education is the leading U.S. provider of alternative and special education programs for students at risk of dropping out and those with special needs. Formerly known as Educational Services of America (ESA), ChanceLight uses Citrix virtualization and collaboration solutions as the foundation of its private cloud strategy to deliver targeted learning resources to more than 12,000 students any time and on any device.
ChanceLight partners with more than 260 public school districts in 23 states to serve 12,000 students each year. In the past, ChanceLight was limited in the ways it could support these students due to barriers posed by the public school computing environment, which is generally closed to third party network connections and applications. To achieve a sustained impact on its students’ success, including those unable to attend extracurricular sessions regularly or well in an unfamiliar setting, ChanceLight needed a way to deliver services wherever students may be, in whatever way is most convenient and comfortable for them.
ChanceLight used Citrix technology to build a collaborative learning environment enabling students and teachers to share information and work together from any location. The system includes desktop and application virtualization powered by Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp, integrated collaboration technologies powered by Citrix ShareFile for secure data sharing and Citrix GoToMeeting with HDFaces for online meetings and video conferencing. Citrix Podio provides a simple, intuitive and engaging social platform for students to interact with teachers, each other and the educational resources ChanceLight posts.
Students can use Citrix Receiver to participate in tutoring and support sessions on any device, from a school-based PC, to a learning center thin client, to the student’s own Mac or iPad, with a high-definition experience over any type of network connection.
ChanceLight now has the freedom to deliver services to students anywhere, in any network environment, so the sessions are an integrated part of their day. At the same time, with public school budgets tighter than ever, ChanceLight can deliver educational support cost-effectively as an on-demand service over existing computers and energy-efficient thin clients. Citrix solutions made it possible for ChanceLight to create and customize its collaborative learning environment at a fraction of the time and cost it would otherwise have required.
The ChanceLight system allows people to move seamlessly among capabilities for data sharing, social networking, online collaboration and video conferencing from within the same Citrix Receiver environment used to access their apps and desktops. “The guiding principle for our technology strategy was ‘three clicks or less,’” says Alan Watson, executive vice president and chief technology officer, ChanceLight. “With our Citrix platform, students can access their desktops and apps, open a lesson and start studying with two clicks. A teacher can initiate a video conference from within Podio with a single click, then invite participants with one click each.” Teachers also use the platform to track student grades and applications, and can easily share information with parents and their peers. The entire environment is easy to learn and use. “The intuitive nature of our integrated Citrix platform minimizes training, which allows teachers to spend more time thinking about innovative ways to make our students more successful,” says Watson.
Able to deliver any app to any device, ChanceLight can provide every student with rich, often visually intense multimedia content tailored to their individual learning needs. One student, who had struggled in high school and was often frustrated in the conventional classroom, finds the environment ideal for her visually-based learning style. “Unlike at a public school where I just had to listen to a teacher, I’m looking at a computer, reading and seeing it. I’m more confident now and I put in more effort,” she says. With ChanceLight’s help, she graduated from high school and plans to attend college.
The same collaboration platform that supports ChanceLight’s teachers and students is now being implemented for business users throughout the company. “In everything we do, our Citrix platform helps us work and share information more quickly and easily,” says Watson.
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the cloud company that enables mobile workstyles—empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere, easily and securely. With market-leading solutions for mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and data sharing, Citrix helps organizations achieve the speed and agility necessary to succeed in a mobile and dynamic world. Citrix products are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Annual revenue in 2012 was $2.59 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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