Reply To: Audio and video solutions for the classroom

Kim GravesKim Graves

I am in the process of outfitting four classrooms with equipment to support HyFlex. Currently working with facilities and IT to install. We have one room up and running and the remainder should be working within the next couple of weeks. I like the discussion here. It was really important to me to make it as easy as possible for anyone to walk into the room and be able to use it so I set it up as if the instructor was at home conducting a synchronous class, just with a larger speaker/microphone and more powerful camera.

An HDL 300 soundbar from Nureva connects to the podium computer via usb so is literally the default input/output. Instructors don’t even have to think about it. The Aver PTZ camera has a two step process to connect (through the network) that I haven’t been able to automate but once that is done the camera connects to zoom just as if it was a built in or monitor-mount camera. We already had a two monitor podium computer to tap into, with a front room display that mirrors one of the monitors. Now the instructor just has to share that same monitor screen in zoom for the remote students and they see exactly what the in-person students do.

The camera has many features, but I’ve just set it up for instructors to easily switch between three main zones and turn the motion tracking on/off. The zones are: the instructor podium, the front room display (a large Samsung TV), and a whiteboard.

Currently in the process of training fellow faculty members to use the equipment. (After the first of these sessions, one of my colleagues exclaimed “Oh, this is much easier than I thought it was going to be.” and proceeded to ask me how I listed hyflex courses for registration so I’m taking that as a good sign.) These classrooms are for 20-30 people. For the remainder of the rooms, the college has a set of mobile carts that can be wheeled to the back of any room to broadcast synchronously. It is a computer with a large display and a combined camera/soundbar mounted at the top. The instructor logs in to zoom on the cart AND the podium computer if the podium computer will be used for screen sharing.