How EduSpark uses Whereby to Provide an Immersive Learning Platform
Discover how EduSpark used Whereby Embedded to create an immersive learning platform for educators, integrating video calls directly into the learning ecosystem.
When Craig Kemp and Andrew Mowat co-founded EduSpark in September 2021, they had their work cut out for them. Building an education platform is one thing, but building an education ecosystem for educators is entirely another.
They knew they would have to build something immersive, comprehensive, and multi-modal—something that would integrate all the learning strategies educators already knew worked well in their day-to-day lives.
Though it was a large undertaking, Andrew and Craig had a strong vision to guide them. Both co-founders had been frustrated by the gap they felt existed for online learning in the professional development space. These solutions were heavy on “content”, but there was very little opportunity for actual learning that engaged two-way conversation and the opportunity to share thoughts and opinions.
In just one year, Andrew and Craig have realized this vision in a way that’s truly impressive. Today, EduSpark’s platform offers over 120 courses that incorporate two-way conversation, live learning, and features that enable seamless, real-time engagement and learning to take place. This progress has been made all the more possible by using Whereby as its embedded video solution.
A couple of false starts
Andrew and Craig knew that an embedded video solution would be integral to bringing their vision to life. “We needed it to be more than just a consumption platform,” says Andrew. “Learning is incremental, and it doesn’t happen when you throw a bunch of content at people. It happens when you create a space for conversation and live learning to occur.”
Though it was a top priority, finding the right solution was initially a struggle. “We were good at putting asynchronous, recorded video up, but we were still a content-biased platform. We needed that conversational aspect, but we struggled to find something that worked seamlessly.”
Initially, EduSpark used Zoom but found that jumping out of a course window to enter a Zoom call was too disruptive. They soon moved over to Agora, another embedded video solution that had its own set of problems. “For about seven months, we were trying to make embedded video work with a different provider,” says Andrew. “While we were promised an easy integration and setup, our developers struggled with it. You could see the grind and the frustration they were going through.”
Then one day, another solution appeared by chance. “One of our developers was actually searching online for help with the platform we were struggling with and came across an ad for Whereby,” says Andrew. They decided to take a look around for fun, and it was immediately clear that Whereby was the missing piece they’d been looking for.
“Within two hours, our developer was able to implement more than he had in the eight months prior with Agora.”
Finally finding the right fit
Once the team found Whereby and started to integrate it into their platform in earnest, the change was immediate. “We could do things we never thought possible right away,” says Craig. “The personalizations and customizations that were possible were just so impressive. Auto recording, emojis, the interactivity… it was all incredible.”
Today, Andrew and Craig are relieved that they found the right solution, and as they suspected, it lets them run their business in exactly the way they envisioned. “Today, the relationship that we can build through live video embedded into the program is the thread that holds all this together,” says Andrew.
He goes on to explain that beyond the obvious benefit of Whereby actually doing what they need it to, it’s the little touches that make a huge difference in an educational setting. “For example, when someone types a comment, the comment will appear over that person’s face so that you can see it without breaking ‘eye contact’ and having to direct your attention over to the chat window.”
One of the largest benefits of finding Whereby was that EduSpark’s developers finally have the time to plan ahead. “Before, trying to make our previous solution work was something they were stressed out over all day every day,” says Andrew. What’s more, the team finally has a partnership in Whereby that feels supportive. “There’s been a feeling of community from the beginning,” says Craig, “Which aligns with our own company values. We’ve always taken a community-based, supportive approach to learning, and it’s great that the people at Whereby demonstrate that too.”
A springboard for success
Whereby worked so well as an embedded video solution for EduSpark that they’re now brainstorming new ways they can use it to serve their students. “The fact that it’s so easy to integrate and use has made us think differently about where embedded video can live, which is really exciting for us,” says Andrew.
In fact, the ease of use that Whereby offers is what spurred the next big project on EduSpark’s horizon. Together with another large curriculum organization, EduSpark has been planning a conference that will mirror EduSpark’s course structure but will be available for 200-300 people over two time zones. “Whereby will play a pivotal role here,” says Andrew. “We could never have entertained the idea of shifting into a slightly different deployment of our infrastructure before.”
As for what the long-term future holds, Andrew and Craig know that whatever new ideas they come up with will be supported by Whereby every step of the way. “Whereby helped us get to that next level so quickly,” says Craig, “And whenever we come to them with new ideas, they really listen and problem-solve for us.”
“This partnership has made us think differently about how limitless embedded video can be,” adds Andrew. And with a mindset like that, there’s no end in sight.