Remote and Blended Learning with Planet eStream

Discover the key areas in which Planet eStream can assist educators and students with effective distance learning tools.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a huge impact on educational organisations globally. Distance learning has been a priority over recent months as organisations have developed impact mitigation strategies. Ongoing, attention is now focussed on developing robust digital blended learning provision. Over recent months, we have concentrated on offering practical assistance, advice and free training to help our customers to use their Planet eStream platforms in effective and innovative ways to support their distance learning. Hopefully, many are now very well prepared for the challenges that the new term will bring.

We have an ongoing free webinar schedule to provide guidance and training for using Planet eStream to support blended learning. The full range of available webinars can be accessed here. Please note that there is no limit on the amount of people from your organisation who can attend these webinars.

In conjunction with this, we have detailed below, the key areas where Planet eStream can support blended learning, including recommended resources (webinars/training videos), to support users who may be new to these techniques. All of these resources are free of charge, so please feel free to forward these to your colleagues.

Create Streamlined Learning Resources

Planet eStream includes several key tools for teachers to create their own digital learning resources. These include...

  • Simple upload of their own video content
  • Adding questions and quizzes to videos
  • Creating chapters
  • Editing videos
Supporting Video Tutorial Courses
Using Broadcast TV and Radio Content to Create Learning Resources

Educators can record TV and radio programmes from over 80 channels and have direct access to our Connect Archive – this archive includes over 2 million programmes, including direct access to The BBC Digital and Shakespeare Archives.

This provides teachers with a vast source of high-quality content to use as distance learning resources. In addition, the creative tools covered in the section above can be used to tailor and align programmes to the curriculum for their students.

Supporting Video Tutorial Courses:
Record Lessons and Make Them Available on Demand

The built-in Web Recorder feature in Planet eStream enables teachers to record videos easily. Educators can record from their own screen, webcam/camera, or both simultaneously, using the ‘Picture-in-Picture’ function. These videos are automatically converted and uploaded to Planet eStream so they can be shared with students.

Supporting On Demand Courses:

The use of Planet eStream to deliver remote learning is becoming part of the new normal. As a technology manager within our trust, I have long been aware of both the power and technology available within the platform. The current situation (COVID-19) has seen a huge increase for the need to deliver remote learning that is both meaningful and engaging. Teaching staff requests for lesson recording support have increased tenfold; without a platform such as Planet eStream, our technology support staff would have been overwhelmed with work, thus slowing down the output of content to students.

However, our teachers are now recording and uploading engaging and powerful lessons to our eStream platform. Importantly this content can then be shared safely with our students, both ensuring safeguarding and protecting the intellectual property of the respective lessons.

In summary we have found the following tools to be super useful at this time:

  • Remote uploading
  • Creating recordings – teachers can record both a camera feed alongside their teaching material e.g. PowerPoint
  • Creating video-based quizzes

In coming weeks we are also moving from our current locally hosted Planet eStream platform to the cloud based solution. With this comes new features, such as the virtual classroom which we can’t wait to pilot.

Iain McKeown - Creative and Media at Macmillan Academy, Part of the Endeavour Academies Trust

Virtual Class Tool

This fantastic tool enables educators to present and discuss video content with their class remotely.

Educators can choose the video content they want to present and control playback for students. The built-in chat box adds a great collaborative tool, enabling two-way communication between educators and students.

Live streams can also be incorporated into a Virtual Class, meaning that educators can live stream their camera feed, alongside other materials such as documents, presentations and videos. Planet eStream Virtual Classes can also be embedded into other learning platforms.

Live Stream Lessons

Live streaming of lessons is simple to set up and there are no proprietary hardware requirements, meaning teachers can get started quickly using inexpensive equipment like webcams. Viewers can also interact with live streamed lessons by typing questions. Live streams can then be uploaded to your Planet eStream platform after your live stream for on-demand viewing; interactions are also retained as timecode linked marker points.

Supporting Video Courses:
Create Interactive Resources

Educators can use the Quiz Editor tool available in the platform to add interactive elements to videos they have uploaded or TV programmes they have added. Interactive elements include annotations, drawings, links and quiz questions. This tool enables the creation of great learning resources for distance learning, and teachers can track quiz results via detailed analytics.

Supporting Video Courses:
Safely Distribute YouTube Content

During times of enforced remote learning, YouTube could be seen as an easy solution, especially with the lack of internal firewalls to block access. However, the concerns around using YouTube within an educational environment still persist, including safeguarding, distractions with adverts, infringing licensing laws by inadvertently using copyright content that should not be on YouTube and, of course, quality of content.

Planet eStream not only provides access to a host of TV and radio resources available to use legitimately under the terms of your ERA licence, but also includes a YouTube embed tool. This enables teachers to continue to use selected content that may only be available on YouTube, however delivery to students is more secure and controlled via your eStream platform.

Supporting On Demand Courses:
Track Student Activity

As a secure video platform, access, viewing and user activity can be tracked. Interactive videos also enable educators to monitor student activity when watching and working through videos that include interactive elements.

Share Your Resources by Embedding Content in Your Chosen Learning Platform

Planet eStream provides many methods for sharing content. As standard, any media can be shared really easily using built-in share links and embed codes. We also provide many integrations with leading learning platforms; these enable educators to simply embed their video-based learning resources into their course pages. Supported integrations include; FireFly, Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, My School Portal, Moodle, Frog, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and OneNote.

Discover more about our Microsoft Teams App here
Supporting Video Courses:
Student Uploads

With Planet eStream, your students can upload their own content securely. Student uploads can be handled differently by adding moderation or restricting availability of the content to just the student and their teachers.

Supporting Video Courses:
Accessing your Planet eStream Platform from Home

Most of our educational customers use directory integration for authentication to their platform - this makes remote access to Planet eStream really straight forward as they can just use their standard school username and password.

Organisations using our cloud platform will already be able to access their Planet eStream from anywhere. This is also possible for those with a locally deployed platform whose platform is available externally.

Quick Technical Checklist for Administrators;
  • Check platform is available externally
  • If live streaming, please make sure port 1935 is open
  • Ensure your educators’ permissions set in your schemas allow access to the correct tools
  • Are there any additional feature modules your team require?
  • Make sure integrations are installed and working correctly
  • Distribute staff training resources –

If you require any assistance with setting up any of the above elements on your Planet eStream platform in preparation for potential closure then please contact

Please note that Planet eStream is a modular platform and although most of you will have access to most features detailed above, some features are specific to individual modules and may not currently be included in your subscription. Modules can easily be added to your licence and they can usually be activated within a couple of hours of an order being confirmed. If you have any questions or require pricing then please contact