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Algonquin College – The ACCE Building




Together with the client, we proposed several technological approaches which could be phased in over time in order to match up with the College’s budget cycles as well as their operational and performance needs.

Challenge:

Client approached Interactive Audio Visual with several technological issues to improve the in class learning environment, as well as being able to support an ever growing inventory of multimedia equipped rooms without increasing workload on existing support personnel.

Over the past several years this organization had equipped many classrooms with video/data projectors and front projection screens. These systems have become outdated, were not compatible with new signal formats and were no longer meeting today’s operational needs. Instructors also experienced inconsistent operations.

Together with the client, we proposed several technological approaches which could be phased in over time in order to match up with the College’s budget cycles as well as their operational and performance needs.

As the client had rolled out various rooms in the past they found control and support to be problematic. If a support call was placed, the AV support technician had to go to the room – which could be across campus or in another city in order to assist the instructor. Further, maintenance was exceedingly difficult to pre-plan. This was time consuming and inefficient.

Support of the system was a crucial factor as the client could not add more personnel to maintain the systems. Therefore it was mandatory that it NOT become an onerous implementation to existing support resources or systems.

IAV Provided Solution:

IAV proposed a systemic architecture which allowed for flexibility with different room configurations, and would be simple to upgrade projection technology as it too evolved. A control layer was suggested which would be very simple for any instructor to use and would be reliable. Our overall solution encapsulated an affordable, reliable and flexible system which met all the above criteria.

The system Algonquin choose was the Extron PoleVault series. It is compatible with any appropriately equipped projection system the client may elect to acquire now or in the foreseeable future. It integrates projector and projection screen operations with the push of a single button (“On”).

Additional inputs for classroom computer, laptops, DVD/VCR’s and so forth are all accommodated. Even the new digital signal formats such as HDMI can be accommodated with this system. This provided compatibility with existing and burgeoning digital signal formats.

Operations are extremely simple for anyone – User simply presses the “ON” button to start, and selects the corresponding source they want (ie. Class PC, laptop or DVD) and away they go!! In room volume is adjustable and easy to understand … just turn the volume knob. How’s that for simple !!

This solution made in-class presentation very easy for any user and it is extremely reliable. Future updates which may be required such as changes in projector or other devices does not require an entire re-programming service. This is a configuration based solution and does not require special programming – perfect for controlling future expenditures.

In addition to the above, this technology is IP enabled. Once the college brings this service on-line (planned for in Fall 2011), each classroom system can be monitored and/or controlled remotely. This is perfect for support personnel to effectively and efficiently handle support calls without needing to run to each individual classroom – either across campus or in a different city. It can be done from their desktop (or mobile devices) very quickly.

In addition, this system can track classroom and in-room resource usage, can aid in proactive management of maintenance needs and can even trigger alarms in case of theft/damage to a device. AV support personnel can now know, proactively when maintenance in any room is appropriate and manage their technician resources (ie. change projector lamps, etc).

Algonquin College through Interactive Audio Visual deployed the first 45+ classrooms with Extron PoleVault systems for their new ACCE building. That is just the beginning.

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