California State University’s Interactive Classroom Technology

We Work On Many Interactive Classroom Technology Deployments Nationwide To Help Teachers And Students Deal With New Normal

California State University’s Interactive Classroom Technology

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is a public university. The 322-acre campus is the third largest of the 23-school California State University system and one of the largest universities in the state by enrollment with a student body of more than 37,000.

The Tech Decision

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at CSULB offers programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science, as well as several degree minors and certificate programs. It is the largest Family and Consumer Sciences program on the West Coast and the largest department on campus, with more than 2,200 majors, minors, graduate and certificate students. The Family and Consumer Sciences program needed a room to accommodate its online learning program, specifically for students in the nutrition program.

The current room used for many of the nutrition program classes did not allow educators to reach students using remote technologies. As the demand for online learning grew, including the use of telemedicine in most professional settings, CSULB chose to make an investment in its interactive classroom technology. “We wanted to create an environment in which nutrition students could learn how to interact and consult with patients via telemedicine,” says Bonnie Rice, Instructional Support Technician at CSULB. “Initially, the room was built as a hard sciences lab where students could learn about metabolic analysis. The goal was to fit it out with the right technology to help students learn the nuances of online health consultation, which has become so pervasive in medicine today.”

The Interactive Classroom Solution

AVI Systems worked closely with CSULB’s IT and Facilities departments to help the university design a classroom that accommodates both the students and educators. The 1,244-square-foot room includes five student learning stations, each with a 55-inch display that can be used both independently at the station and from the instructor’s podium. As the university’s IT team standardizes on interactive classroom technology across the campus, AVI was able to source Extron for the room’s infrastructure, which includes a matrix switcher, amplifier, ceiling speakers, a touch panel at the podium, and Media Port to enable web conferencing for online streaming and recording. The focal point of the room includes two 100-inch displays that receive images from short-throw interactive projectors. Instructors can combine the two screens into one large display, if needed, using Epson Duolink software. In addition, instructors can use a mouse to annotate on the projection screen and/or from the podium computer as needed.

“Our faculty love the interactive capabilities this technology now provides,” says Rice. “They can use the full scope of the technology, and still use a white board when it’s required. In addition, they can toggle between the displays at each student learning station and the primary display, which enhances student engagement and the overall learning experience.” The classroom also enables distance learners to take part in classes via Zoom meetings using a VD0360 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera with presets. The camera is controlled using the Extron touch panel.

The Impact

The new classroom, which seats up to 40 students, features ease-of-use technology for students as well as educators. AVI also worked to minimize the up-front learning required of instructors to use the new technology effectively. “Teachers don’t want to spend hours learning how to use systems, they want it to be intuitive and simple. We accomplished this goal by deploying the right tools they can quickly adapt to,” says Rice. “Our faculty knows that online learning and telemedicine are critical to the program’s future, so they’re willing to adapt to the change to ensure students have access to the latest and greatest in real-world technology.” AVI integrated Audix ceiling microphones as well as flush-mount speakers that blend in with the ceiling itself. “In-room lighting and audio is critical, especially when designing a space that will be used for online learning and telemedicine consults,” says Rice. “AVI helped us identify and build in the best solutions that provide a perfect online learning environment.” The team also incorporated Extron Global Viewer, a system used by the IT department to monitor the health of campus-wide technologies. In addition to Extron Global Viewer monitoring, the room includes AVI Pro Support Services built in for the next three years.

“AVI Pro Support includes unlimited training and break-fix support, so the university can be confident the room will be up and running and supported by trained staff, faculty, IT, and AV personnel for the next few years,” says Michael Brandmire, Executive Account Manager at AVI Systems. As technology advances, so do health and safety standards, resulting in distance learning and hybrid classrooms growing in popularity with universities and hospitals. “We work on many massive interactive classroom technology deployments nationwide to help teachers and students deal with the new normal,” Brandmire says.

This news was originally published at My Tech Decision’s