Delivering a streaming audio platform for French & Spanish language students
How can streaming technology modernise the experience for language students across the UK?
La Jolie Ronde has been at the forefront of language learning since 1983 and is a leading provider of extra-curricular French and Spanish language classes for children. La Jolie Ronde distributes over 43,000 educational books a year, many of which include a CD of audio support materials. Over recent years, the availability of devices to play CDs within homes has reduced. Laptops and computers don't have CD drives anymore, and personal CD players have given way to mp4 and smartphone technology.
After initially evaluating iTunes and Amazon Music as not commercially viable, La Jolie Ronde approached Cursor with a view to explore how streaming technology and smart phone apps could change how they deliver audio resources to schools and children.
Initial research indicated that many pupils are given their parent's older mobile phones to use, or have tablets of their own, so availability of smart devices within La Jolie Ronde’s end user environment is high. However, many of these devices don't have a data contract, so therefore rely on the availability of a wireless connection.
The solution was to build a mini-site where students and teachers can register and stream audio resources online; a cross-platform mobile/tablet app where customers can register, download and play audio resources and a secure administration system for La Jolie Ronde staff.
Students or parents register for an account using either the app or website and then use a cryptographic passcode printed inside the book's cover to unlock lesson resources. When a resource is unlocked, the app automatically enables the audio and lesson resources for that programme to the device. Download functionality within the app allows students to listen to audio resources without an Internet connection and reduces the data usage of the app.
The app includes the ability to preview new lessons and listen to the first three tracks for free. Teachers use a different code to unlock all audio resources as well as special teacher orientated resources allowing the app to be used in lessons.
The new web-based media player, developed using the powerful Craft CMS system, ensured that La Jolie Ronde wasn’t solely reliant on the app to deliver its lessons. We also included features for the La Jolie Ronde team to manage licensees and generate cryptographic codes.
The App includes 17 French programmes and 16 Spanish programmes. Each programme includes 30+ audio tracks, pupil notes and teacher materials. In the three months since launch in January 2018, the system has been used by 1,260 pupils and 531 teachers who have listened to over 27,000 audio resources.
Importantly though, after just three months, sales of audio CDs have dropped significantly - which is good; Fulfilling La Jolie Ronde's objectives to migrate from delivering audio resources via CD and embracing the mobile app revolution.
The new Media Player website and App has significantly improved our end user experience, whilst at the same time reducing our production and distribution costs. Cursor took the time to understand both our requirements and those of our customers, presenting a technical solution which met all our requirements. The platform can also be further developed in the future to add video and interactive resources to further supplement our language learning programmes.
Steve BakerGeneral Manager, La Jolie Ronde