The Tech Manager’s Guide To the

Connected Campus

Featuring:
sponsored by

4Supporting active learning in the classroom
4meeting the tech expectations of digital natives
4comparing strategies for wireless video in education
4AV technology & Team-based learning at umass amherst
45 pitfalls of networked digital signage on campus
from the editors of

Editor’s Note
[Margot Douaihy, editorial director, AV Technology]

Changing the Game
The Greek etymology of “technology” is tekhnologia—”systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique.” We have come to understand (and use)
the word technology to mean “tool.” My iPhone is technology, but so is language itself. Some technological discoveries change the world (the
Internet), while others become obsolete (Smell-O-Vision). As your veritable technological table of contents, AV Technology reports on new product
debuts or upgrades that are noteworthy for the end-user community. From time to time, a new development warrants a much closer look.
Such is the case with the dynamic category of education technology. This perennial “game changer,” broadly understood to be technology in
learning spaces, influences the way teachers teach and students learn. The classroom is a crucible: new technologies are tested every semester of every
school year. Some edtech products are wasteful and superfluous, some are distracting, while others can be positively revolutionary. In this special
guide, we explore new interactive solutions and connected classroom best practices. Our writers take a deep dive into the systems that support collaborative learning, recording and streaming, and wireless connectivity. A few of these articles appeared in our editions in 2014, so think of this
eBook as the “best of the best” in edtech coverage.
Which technologies have changed the game in your university or college? How many of you are still wrangling VHS devices? Email me at
FOLLOW ME ONLINE
mdouaihy@nbmedia.com to share your education technology story.

mdouaihy@nbmedia.com
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The Tech
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Guide to
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Table of Contents
Ed Note.................................................................................................................................................................................... 3
FEATURES
New Students, New Sensibilities: Meeting the evolving tech expectations of digital natives......................... 4
Collaborative Progress: Team-based learning advances at UMass Amherst������������������������������������������������������ 8
Collaborating Untethered: Wireless video can radically transform
how a learning space operates, but the design must be solid................................................................................ 11
5 Pitfalls of Networked Digital Signage on a College Campus & How to Avoid Them.......................................... 12
EdTech Forecast: What will your learning space look like in 2018?..................................................................... 14
EdTech Trends to Watch: If universities don’t step up to
meet user expectations, they will risk obsolescence.............................................................................................. 15
Collaboration Curriculum: Tech managers in higher education
should plan to support more active learning environments................................................................................ 18
HDBaseT in Education…Are We There Yet? The challenges &
opportunities of HDBaseT in educational verticals.................................................................................................. 20

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3

connected classroom

New Students, New
Sensibilities
Meeting the evolving tech expectations of digital natives.
By Tim Kridel
Online higher ed is slowly shedding its inferiority rap. In a notable Gallup and Lumina Foundation survey, 37 percent of
respondents agreed or strongly agreed that online schools provide a high-quality education. That’s a staggering increase,
up from 30 percent in 2011.

Faculty & student expectations about what’s possible in the classroom are influenced by home technology & personal media habits.

The steady rise of online education’s popularity
and perception is a double-edge sword for colleges
and universities that are mostly or exclusively brickand-mortar operations. For example, online-only

4

schools’ lower overhead costs often mean they can
price their tuition lower than traditional colleges. But
when those traditional colleges are public, it’s tough
for them to keep tuition low if they’re in states with

flat or declining higher ed funding.
It is no surprise that many traditional colleges
are increasingly going online, which enables them to
tap a bigger pool of potential students but without

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“It’s extremely advantageous to have a video production or film background.
If an instructor says, ‘I want my lectures recorded in a studio background,’ my
people can accommodate that. Those post-production editing skills are a big
plus.”
the additional capital cost of more buildings. As
perceptions about online quality increase, so does the
addressable market.
“The big trend right now for most universities is
they’re trying to expand their footprint because they’re
trying to expand their student base,” said Rob Sheele,
Vaddio president and CEO and a North Hennepin
Community College board member. “That all comes
down to revenue, simply because the amount of government support that a lot of state colleges get now
versus what they got 10 years ago is shrinking.”
Hence the trend toward not just more lecture

that. Those post-production editing skills are a big
plus.”
Projectors evolve, but so do
displays
Campuses won’t go the way of the slide rule anytime
soon, and more lecture capture gear is just one of
the ways they’re evolving technologically. Another
example is changes in how projectors are used.
“We see continuing use of projection screens with
a traditional projector, but with some new twists,”
said Jim Hoodlebrink, Draper information display

Draper’s Scribe Interactive Screen is a rigid front-projection screen for use with ultra-short throw projectors. The protective
coating allows students and professors to write directly onto the screen with a dry erase marker.

capture, but also higher quality productions. Faculty
and students increasingly expect more than just, say,
a single camera that spends the entire lecture locked
onto the podium or the PowerPoint deck on the dropdown screen.
“It’s extremely advantageous to have a video production or film background,” said Robert Rasberry,
Drexel University assistant director of facility services.
“If an instructor says, ‘I want my lectures recorded in
a studio background,’ my people can accommodate

6

systems product manager. “There is better interactivity, with integration of touch pads and electronic
participation.
“We also see write-on screens used with ultrashort-throw projectors. These may be used more as
a whiteboard than as a projection screen. We still see
traditional large screens because many of the rooms
are large and need the larger image so everyone can
see the information being presented.”
But in classrooms, exactly the opposite trends is

playing out; some schools are replacing projectors
with displays.
“I’m seeing the trend toward displays,” Rasberry
said. “We put together a new collaboration space
that’s based on groups rather than traditional classroom seating. Whereas we used to have smart projectors and short-throw projectors, we decided to go
with the new smart displays because of the advances
they’ve made in quality with the LEDs.
“You don’t have to change a bulb. In a lot of cases,
it’s better able to handle the different resolutions
thrown at it as opposed to some of the projectors we
have. In larger classrooms and auditoriums, obviously
projectors will have their foothold for many years to
come.”
It’s trendy, but collaboration
creates wild cards
The learning environment in many classrooms and
even auditoriums is evolving away from nonstop
lectures and toward more give and take. That trend is
driving purchases of collaboration technology.
“Collaborative learning has actually become a
punch list item for most higher ed institutions,” said
Gina Sansivero, director of educational sales at FSR,
whose HuddleVu product is designed for small-group
collaboration. “From breakout tables in larger classrooms and labs to huddle spaces in libraries and even
student unions, the idea is that working together and
sharing information enhances a student’s learning,
problem solving and communications skills while
potentially enabling a more practical or real approach
to theoretical concepts.”  
Collaboration often includes student- and facultyowned tablets, smartphones, and laptops, as well
as devices such as Apple TV, Google Glass and
Chromecast. That creates challenges for AV/IT staff
when it comes to ensuring that a room’s systems have,
for example, the right physical interfaces. Faculty and
student expectations about what’s possible and preferable in the classroom often are set by the experiences
at home.
“Apple TVs and Chromecasts are easy to use at
home, [and] users would like to be able to simply
pop up the same devices in classrooms,” said Lee
Bandman, Syracuse University wireless network architect and network engineer. “The ignorance factor is
in having no idea what a terribly poor job the device

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Smart cameras—for lecture capture and distance learning, & collaboration systems—such as Vaddio’s
GroupSTATION, are becoming more popular features of the contemporary college classroom.

makers do in building in any suitability for use on
business-class networks.
“Most big network environments take one of
two approaches. They either break their own rules
and best practices to try to make the consumer-grade
devices work in the classroom – and then live with
all of the support fallout that comes with it. Or like
us, they say no to creating more problems than get
solved by trying to accommodate living-room quality,
capability-limited devices on business networks.”
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend—and
all of the challenges it creates—isn’t limited to content
sources, either.
“Simplified control, including control from BYOD
devices, will be replacing traditional sophisticated
control,” said Clint Hoffman, Kramer Electronics vice

ware than hardware, as well as cloud-based
solutions. For example, Mersive’s Solstice
collaboration platform is designed to
work with off-the-shelf compute and
network hardware.
“Because Solstice is a software product, we are agile and able to adapt it quickly to evolving market requirements and new use cases through
the continuous release of new and updated versions,”
said Rob Balgley, Mersive CEO. “Because our competitors based their solutions on proprietary hardware,
they are either in conflict with existing IT policies and/
or duplicating hardware cost because the end user
also already has computer and network technology
in place. Solutions that are based on proprietary hardware always have higher upfront costs and increased

“Classrooms are very expensive. Kids can be in
sorority or dorm rooms or common areas and be
receiving live video.”
president of marketing. “Additionally, classroom systems require a scaler/switcher at their heart more than
ever to effectively handle this BYOD trend.”
What’s next in higher ed?
BYOD highlights another challenge for higher ed
tech managers: keeping their systems as future-proof
as possible. One way is by choosing products whose
features are determined more by software and firm-

TCO because they will have to be replaced  as standards and requirements evolve.”
Lecture capture is an example of how products
that are software-centric, use commodity hardware or
both enable savings that enable wider deployments.
“We used to have four or five classrooms that
had lecture capture,” Vaddio’s Sheele said about the
college where he’s a board member. “We now have
30. Had we stayed with an appliance-base system, we

probably couldn’t have done it. Because we can now
use software-based applications, the cost is almost
insignificant.”
In some cases, old technology is getting new life.
For example, many dorms and classroom buildings
got category cable as computers became common.
Then Wi-Fi came along and idled a lot of that cable.
Some vendors see category as an opportunity to create subnets to offload certain types of video so it’s not
clogging up the main network.
“You might want to take that throwaway video,
which might be news, sports, entertainment, and
put that on a spare category cable,” said Dick Snyder,
Z-Band vice president of marketing and sales. “Then
you don’t have to encode and put that into your
server, where you’ll need software and middleware to
manage it.”
That reuse also could enable distance learning in dorms and Greek houses.
“Classrooms are very expensive,”
Snyder said. “Kids can be in sorority or
dorm rooms or common areas and be
receiving live video.”
Reusing old infrastructure is one way
to stretch the budget. Another trick is
to look for products that can support disparate applications, possibly
to the point that it creates opportunities to dip into non-AV funding, such
as the security budgets that many schools fattened
following tragedies including the Virginia Tech shootings. For example, Kramer’s latest scaler-switchers
include emergency-alert features.
“Any display connected to a Kramer scaler-switcher which is in turn connected to the network, can
instantly display an emergency message processed
through the scaler-switcher,” Hoffman said.  “The
effect can be campuswide, and if set up appropriately,
the scaler-switchers can even turn on displays they are
connected to which are not on and display the message. This can allow schools with AV budgets that are
limited to use money from a security budget.”
Whether it’s by finding new ways to reuse old
infrastructure, getting creative with budgets or using
new online technologies to serve more students, every
penny makes a difference.
“If we can add 30 percent more students to a college and not overburden the college, the next result
is we can reduce the cost of education to students by
30 percent,” Sheele said. “We’re going to need to start
leveraging technology to be able to make education
affordable. The more we can virtualize it, the greater
the access.”
Tim Kridel is a regular writer for AV Technology.

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connected classroom

Collaborative Progress
Team-based learning advances at UMass Amherst.
By Garen S. Sahagian • Photos by Emma J. Hyde
The University of Massachusetts Amherst unofficially opened the doors to its
Integrative Learning Center (ILC) in September 2014. The new building features
classrooms that expand on traditional teaching methods by creating spaces
designed around the team-based learning (TBL) paradigm. In use for most of
the fall semester, the university’s IT department has now had ample opportunity to tweak, fine-tune, and target key areas for improvement. I spoke with
staff and faculty members involved with the project to learn more about this
cutting-edge technology.
Robert Davis, manager, UMass Information
Technology Computer Classrooms department,
shared his perspective on the history and future of
TBL at the university.
Garen S. Sahagian: Whose idea was it to implement Team-Based Learning at UMass?
Robert Davis: A little over three years ago, the provost [James Staros] asked that two pilot rooms be
built. We went through three years of testing and
trying—looking at what worked and what didn’t
work, and coming up with a series of improvements on the room that would influence this
space.
Did you speak with students and teachers about
their wants and needs?

8

Robert Davis: One of the things we did—in
response to both faculty and student needs—is
[to make sure] that the tables here are completely
flat. We’ve taken away the center console. Faculty
and students both said that it sometimes limited
the ability to talk across the table, and to really feel
like you’re part of a team. And so we’ve replaced
all those controls with the controls you see here
in the pop-ups. [Also] you can see you can have
a clear discussion table. If you happen to be a
physics professor and want to load the table up
with gear, you can push all of the laptops into
the center, which allows space for other devices.
We’ve also had a class that involves gaming. And
this system allowed them to bring in Xbox or PS3
[devices], and use them with the video/audio
system.

As a tech manager at UMass, what are your biggest
challenges? How do you overcome them?
Robert Davis: The challenges are making sure
that things are ready for each class. And, often
times, it’s a failing of the previous class to clean
up after themselves. I know that it sounds pretty
basic, but if it’s not done, it takes time out of the
next class coming in. These whiteboards are more
than just whiteboards. It’s not like a typical scenario, because they are also used to project things
around the room. You really need a fresh start.
The more freedom and options you give for using
the technology, the more chance that the system
is not all uniform when the next class comes in.
[Something] you have to consider is that there are
three possible mute buttons. Those are the kinds
of things that can get to be an irritant at first. Once
you get the students used to the system, that’s
something that they can monitor themselves.
Were there any particularly notable lessons that
you learned from the test period?
Robert Davis: The only real failure that we had
happened like this: I saw a group of students griping outside of one of the pilot rooms, and I asked
them, ‘Hey, how do you like using that room?’
And they said, ‘Ugh, it’s the worst room ever.’ And
that perked up my ear. What the instructor was

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Matthew Misiaszek, a classroom technology
manager attached to the ILC, ran me through the
flashier bits of hardware debuting in the room.
The various devices are deftly tucked into corners,
cabinets, and cable-cubbies to save space for teachers’ equipment. The station features an iClicker
base, lavaliere charging mount, WolfVision doccam, and portable touchscreen, all perched neatly
on the edge of the desk. Meanwhile, the region/
code-free Oppo Blu-ray player sits in the cabinet
below, joined by the wireless presentation system
and Mac mini unit. It all seems pretty snazzy, but
in the end, I had to ask:

doing was lecturing at one of the whiteboards, and
when one was full, they just walked to the next
one, and so was not using the room at all as a TBL
room as it was designed. So that was what made
it so unpleasant for the students because they had
to look [all around the room]. The individual
wanted to teach a standard lecture course. But that
was about the only issue—when they tried to use
it for straight lecture. There are ways you could
do a straight lecture if you used the equipment
properly. That particular teaching style just wasn’t
suited for that environment.
How much training is necessary to use one of
these rooms?
Robert Davis: The Center for Teaching and Faculty
development runs a boot-camp. They get together
for a few hours and really go through the technology. They don’t have summer long programs like
they used to.
One of the things that really helps, is they offer
one-on-one [training]. That’s what really works.
Everyone should participate in a group, but you
just get the basic orientation. After that, you
come in with your own computer, hook it up,
try things out, see how the room fits [your
style], and get your comfort-level.
Fresh Tech
As a student who attends classes in the older
TBL rooms, I’m in a unique position to observe
the improvements brought to the new spaces.
The most immediately noticeable change is the
addition of stadium-style displays mounted
above the instructor’s station, which in turn
draws the eye to the significant changes in the
instructor’s station itself.

10

Is there any particular piece of hardware that
stands out as exciting in the new TBL rooms?
Matthew Misiaszek: The new touchscreen. It’s got
an intuitive GUI…In the test rooms it was kind
of like a TV switcher, with clumped up rows. This
is a lot more polished and intuitive. Everything’s
easy to see.
Misiaszek proceeded to demonstrate the exhaustive yet refreshingly intuitive functionality that the
Crestron TSD-2020, a 20-inch HD V-Panel touchscreen display, had to offer. Controlling everything
from the light levels to the tilt, pitch, and zoom of
the Echo 360-enabled Vaddio cameras, the device
provides an impressive array of options that can be
adapted to a variety of teaching styles.
Another new feature is the annotation function. Any source can be annotated via a stylus pen
on the touchscreen, and anything that you write
on the touchscreen can be added to any destination display you choose. You can also select the
kind of input the touchscreen recognizes; you can
have it respond to the stylus, finger, or both. Since
the arm of the touchscreen is so articulated, you
can lay it flat and write on it like a piece of paper.
This bracingly fresh tech seems to have come
at just the right time for the ILC integrators. HB

Communications won the bid for the contract to
integrate AV in the ILC, and passed over several
choices for the control panel, including models by
HP and 3M, before finding the perfect fit.
Please tell us more about the control panel.
Matthew Misiaszek: It’s so new, this is actually the first use of these touchscreens by this
company—with this annotation feature—on the
planet. I believe it was shown at InfoComm,
and it hadn’t been implemented anywhere. We
were in dire need of something at the time. HB
[Communications] works closely with Crestron,
who told them that they were releasing a larger
version of their touchscreens with more features.
And so the whole building got outfitted with these.
Technology changes so fast. How can you ensure
that the tech you install this year won’t become
obsolete in a few years?
Matthew Misiaszek: We kind of kept analog in
mind and a legacy system running. We needed a
way to interface VGA and HDMI. HDMI is going to
protect us for a long time. Every table has an HDMI,
because students’ laptops are coming in increasingly without VGA. Each student can bring in their
own laptop. A lot of the faculty bring in older
machines, and that’s what the VGA is there for.
Case-Study Room
A slight variant on the TBL paradigm, the case
study room uses much of the same tech, but
employs a more traditional lecture layout.
Originally designed for videoconferencing classes,
the room is outfitted with additional equipment,
and has been used for distance learning with the
UMass Center at Springfield. A combination of
student microphones, swivel chairs, and cameras
help close the distance between upwards of 150
students, allowing a professor to create an engaging environment for both home and away
students.
An Instructor’s Perspective
For an in-depth understanding of what it’s
like to work within a TBL room, I spoke with
TreaAndrea Russworm, PhD, a professor at
UMass with three years of experience teaching
in TBL rooms. She finds that the dynamic setting vastly improves the students’ experiences
because it makes them less adverse to collaboration and engagement, simply by virtue
of exposure.

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(continued on page 22)

connected classroom

Collaborating
Untethered
Wireless video can radically transform how a learning space
operates, but the design must be solid.
by Chris Millet
Like Wi-Fi, wireless video holds the promise of freeing our laptops and mobile devices from cumbersome cables. This is
more than a simple convenience in many situations. Imagine a standard, technology-enhanced college classroom. While
there is some variation from institution to institution, one element you’ll most commonly see is a lectern packed full of
computers and AV components: DVD player, switcher, control panel, even the occasional aging VHS player. The lectern
is also likely the only physical conduit to the room’s projector(s).
As a professor teaching in this type
it’s important to understand that almost
of space, the lectern is home base, the
all wireless video solutions use Wi-Fi to
amalgam of technologies that amplifies
transmit the video signal. Some utilize
one’s voice and channels are all necessary
Wi-F Direct to connect peer-to-peer and
visuals. Similarly, imagine a typical office
bypass the local wireless access point.
conference room or group study space,
Next, your device needs to discover nearwith its large rectangular table, projecby wireless displays. Discovery is often
tor, and video cables sprouting from the
achieved through Bluetooth or near-field
center. In each case, there is a preferred
communication (NFC), but can also be
station for the presenter located at the
accomplished via Wi-Fi-based broadcastlocus of said technology (the lectern or
ing such as Apple’s Bonjour protocols.
wherever the cables reach) that suggests
Each of these approaches come with lima dynamic where an individual is preitations, and may be regarded as undesirsenting to an audience. When there is a
able to some network administrators.
need to change presenters, the awkward
For example, Bonjour is often blocked
shuffling of wires and devices can be There are a bevy of products & strategies for wireless video. Which approach will meet on enterprise networks. Regardless, most
disruptive. Now imagine a classroom or your facility’s budget & needs?
discovery methods aim to achieve minimeeting room with all the same capamal or “zero configuration,” so setup for
bilities, but with no fixed focal point. The dynamics
Wireless video—or more specifically, the hard- the user is quick.
are closer to an organic conversation, our focus ware and software that enables devices such as
The wireless video market includes a few standshifting naturally to whoever wishes to speak, and laptops and tablets to share their display wirelessly out products, each with their unique strengths and
that speaker able to share pertinent resources from to a television or projector—has been possible for limitations. Apple’s Airplay protocol and AppleTV
where they are with a gesture. This “conversational many years. However, it is becoming more widely product allow laptops and mobile devices to very
dynamic” is the most aspirational aspect of modern used in classrooms and office spaces due to new easily mirror their displays, but require MacOSX
active learning classrooms and highly productive standards and improvements in network band- or iOS.
workspaces.
width and security. From a technical perspective,
(continued on page 22)

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connected classroom

Pitfalls of Networked Digital
Signage on a College Campus
& How to Avoid Them

by Cindy Davis
Higher education technology managers know all too well the challenges of unifying systems that run on the IT network across different schools of discipline,
which often have separate and sometimes wildly varying budgets, some with
dedicated IT staff, and siloed mindsets. Deployment of a campus-wide, networked digital signage system can be particularly vulnerable to this disparate
reality.
Avoiding Siloed Budgets
“One of the challenges with colleges and universities is that digital signage is a capital expenditure,
because they have the budget at that moment,”
said Sean Matthews, president and CEO of Visix,
Inc. “Justifying operational expenses over time is
difficult unless it is tied into alert notification,”
which can be a potential catalyst for unification
and help spread the cost across several budgets.

“It is important to
balance the end-user
goals and adhere to
established institutional
policies.”
On the other hand, there can be benefits to letting
one School lead the way.

In 2013, the School of Business at the
College of Charleston (CofC) in South Carolina,
secured the funding for a digital signage system. Erin Simmons, assistant director, student
engagement at the College, helped shape the
mission: “Inspire an innovative business culture; Alleviate traffic confusion on the business
campus with wayfinding; Invite connections
between School of Business students, visitors
and friends; and Develop an efficient and intuitive user experience.”
Avoid Unclear Goals & Include
All Stakeholders
“It is important to balance the end-user goals
and adhere to established institutional policies,”
stated Shonn Diess, RCDD, cabling/AV manager
and IT architect in the Information Technology
department at CofC. From the first meetings

The Beatty Center Lobby at the College of Charleston’s School
of Business has the look and feel of a Fortune 500 company
atrium. This short-list of technology is enough to make any
business envious: Stock quotes scroll on a Rise Display LED
Ticker; dynamic messaging is displayed on three Sharp LED
monitors over the glass wall; and a standalone Peerless kiosk
houses an interactive Planar touch display for wayfinding
and campus information. A wall-mounted, 80-inch interactive Sharp display (inset photo) allows users to take a deep
dive into campus programs. The Planar 32-inch touchscreen
LCD monitors are located outside the elevators for interactive
wayfinding. Visix digital signage AxisTV channel players are
mounted behind the touch displays, and content is managed
through Visix, AxisTV enterprise content manager software.
Visix 15-inch LCD MeetingMinder displays are located outside
the main auditorium. Audio is distributed to surface-mounted,
JBL speakers. Crestron DigitalMedia provides the switching
and signal transmission.

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in 2011, all stakeholders
were involved: IT (network
engineering, AV engineering
system administrators, helpdesk and support services),
marketing and end-users.
Some of the key items discussed were, common alerting protocol (CAP) compliance, a browser-based interface, interactive wayfinding
capabilities, and the need
for an excellent support and
training package.
“Having representation
from all the departments
provided a system of checks
and balances that ensured
An example of dynamic digital sigange at the College of Charleston (CofC).
the end result was a good fit,”
Diess said. In February 2014,
a Visix digital signage platform was fully installed in
five buildings with approximately 31 displays. As the
project manager, Diess is
now leading the campus
wide deployment.

lines, etc.”
Developing a content
schedule, matched to a frequency of updates will help
ensure content doesn’t run
out quicker than expected.
There are two ways content
can be added: “Users have
the option to submit content
via a form, or to upload content directly to AxisTV, which
is part of the Visix content
platform,” noted Simmons.
Avoid Lack
of Training &
Documentation
“To immediately engage
technology-adverse users
and to gather content quickly, we developed an easy
online submission form
for all digital signage,” said
Alex Pappas, CofC, student
engagement and development assistant. To encourage
participation from staff, faculty and students, an email
campaign was deployed
introducing the platform
and its goals. The School of
Business, digital signage user
manual can be accessed on a
website with specific instructions on how to use the Visix
platform.

Don’t
Underestimate the
Network
With solutions provider, Visix
having already implemented
digital signage systems in
more than 700 colleges and
universities, Matthews has
seen some common mis- Keeping students connected with the campus and the outside world
takes. “It’s important to not
Look to the Future
underestimate the negative impact of domain dashboard Web pages. This is something most Seeing the success of the digital signage deploypolicies on media players. Auto-updating content IT departments frown upon. “Android solu- ment at the School of Business, CofC is moving
like weather and RSS feeds may require Internet tions may be less expensive, but a number of towards unification with the School of Math
access, but IT policies may prevent devices from IT departments will not allow devices running and Sciences, School of Humanities and Social
getting to the source,” he said. “In certain settings, this OS to reside on the network,”
Sciences, the marketing and communithe cloud may be a viable solution, but media Matthews explained.
cations department, already underC OF C: cofc.edu
players may require public IP addresses to deliver
way. Other schools have also
CRESTRON: crestron.com
complete functionality. If public IP addresses are Avoid Too Many
shown interest.
VISIX: visix.com
not allowed, then you could be forced into tun- Screens, But Not
“We are currently working on
RISE DISPLAY
risedisplay.com
neling if IT will even allow it.”
Enough Content
two interactive wayfinding
SHARP
Alert notification implementation can be “While the project scope is
projects,” Diess said. “Next,
siica.sharpusa.com/
tricky, according to Matthews, especially “if you coming together,” Simmons
we are looking at incorporatProfessional-Displays
PEERLESS-AV
are integrating external CAP triggers along with suggested, “start building your
ing emergency notification,
peerless-av.com/en-us/
internal actuators like fire alarm systems.”
library of content that can be
and possibly deploying menu
professional
Another issue can be passing credentials mixed in with more specific mesboards in our dining halls.”
through automaton media players to access saging about events, news, dead-

info

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connected classroom

EdTech Forecast
What Will Your Learning Space Look Like in 2018?
By Steve Thorburn
The building blocks for the future
of learning space design are already
around us. Exploring five key areas
will highlight the challenges our
industry must overcome to make that
future a reality. But first, one must
understand the overarching educational trend that is driving the process:
the collaborative classroom.
The pedagogical push into collaborative learning seems new to some but in practice it has
been around for a very long time—it is just being
rebranded and marketed. This teaching style is
an expanded application of what has been
used in engineering, design and business
schools for years. In short, the class is a
collaborative self-guided process, which is
typically based on a short lecture at the start
of the session or the review of a homework
assignment. After the initial discussion, the
class is run like any other laboratory class.
Instead of the instructor lecturing for 80
percent of the time and interacting with
the students the other 20 percent of the
time, student teams spend 80 percent of the
time in group learning while the instructor
moves between the teams providing guidance and responding to questions. This
“flip” in the process required a “flip” in design.
This collaborative environment can be a great
source of revenue for the Audio Visual industry,
but also presents some design challenges.
Collaborative Design
Ideally, the collaborative classroom centers around
six to nine students grouped at a table in sets of
three. At their table is a group display where they
can share what they are working on with the rest of
the table. Next comes the challenge of the instructor location. While the objective is to free the
instructor from a fixed presentation location, there
still should be a node to connect their technology

14

into the room system. Two locations that seem to
work well are the stage right front of the room,
and the center of the room. The center of the room
seems the most logical location, but many instructors still prefer to be near the front. While a front of
room focus is clearly not important when students
are working in groups, it is still important for the
20-percent lecture. Having students twist their bodies to turn to see the instructor resembles a game of
twister in the classroom. Our experience shows that
U-shaped tables all facing a central point are a very
functional solution for collaborative group work
seating that aligns with a unidirectional view to the
front or center of the room.
What about the technology? This is where it
can get real expensive…really quickly. Our studies
have shown that a projection system is not always
the best solution for this type of room. Projecting

images for six to eight tables of students plus a
main room display can be very costly. We feel that
the displayed image should be a flat panel display
no larger than 50 inches and no smaller than 40
inches. The display should be mounted at the end
of the table but down low so students can see it
but also view the instructor when they are in the
front. The room display should still be a projected
image but it can be smaller and off the “center
line” of the room, because the same information
for critical viewing would be at the student tables.
We still keep the primary image up in the front
to support the 20 percent lecture component. To
make sure that everybody is seeing the same thing,

the resolution of the projected image should
match that of the displays at the student tables.
Bring Your Own Anything (BYOD/
BYOx)
In four short years, sales of iPads and other tablet
devices sales have outpaced laptops, with some
researchers showing that mobile devices will exceed
all computer sales next year. All the portability, flexibility and accessibility they offer is good if you are
on the public network at Starbucks or with your
wireless provider, however as soon as you step foot
on the campus or the office BYOD becomes a network access and security issue. Five years ago when
students came to school they might have had one
computer to register on the network. Now it is a
computer, a tablet, a smart phone, a wireless printer
and more. All of these require security controls and
all require bandwidth.
In our experience, some IT staff are more
forward thinking than others in planning
for the challenges the onslaught of mobile
devices brings. BYOD is a trend that does
not appear to be slowing down, and as students and instructors come to rely on their
own devices, they will demand that they
work effectively in the classroom as well.
Once network access and security issues are
resolved, the main challenge in BYOD leads
into the next area of development: sharing
content wirelessly.
Wireless Video
To share information from a mobile device in
a classroom, we still need to connect the device
to the display. Currently, connecting devices to a
display wirelessly is still a challenge as there are
at least five competing factions for this wireless
“standard.”
1) WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface)
2) Intel’s WIDI—Wi-Fi Direct
3) Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Certified Miracast
4) Apple AirPlay
5) DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)
There are many more options (Ed. Note—see
our related feature by Chris Millet); each offers a

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(continued on page 17)

5

connected classroom

EdTech Trends to
Watch in 2015

If universities don’t step up to meet user expectations, they will
risk obsolescence.
By Martin Nurser
Illustration by bri hermanson

Technology has become increasingly important in all aspects of our
lives, including education. Children
are accustomed to interactive whiteboards and the use of iPads for lessons
from a very young age. It is, therefore, no surprise that college students
are demanding innovative, engaging ways of learning and teaching.
Universities have started to use technology to meet those demands, but if
they do not keep up with the changing
environment and meet the challenges
of the digital age, they risk becoming
irrelevant.
Having a teacher impart knowledge while
standing at the front of students sitting at rows
of desks is simply no longer enough. It is just too
one-dimensional. This is why universities should
actively embrace change and introduce some or all
of the following technologies:
Video platforms
We all learn at different paces, and video can provide a flexible approach to learning to a generation
of students that expects an abundance of technology in the classroom. Those who cannot always
be at lectures in person now have the ability to
access lessons and other teaching activities live or
on-demand. Video footage can be used for revision

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connected classroom
purposes or to return to and review
previous lectures that may have been
on a particularly complicated topic.
A managed, secure video platform
could potentially open up a whole
new world of teaching techniques,
including innovative approaches
such as pre-recording lectures that
can be shared with students ahead
of their lesson so that time in class is
only used for discussion and there-

“Drones can be
used to boost
teaching and
learning. They
can also support
research like 3D
archeological
mapping, the
gathering of
geological and
environmental
data, and wildlife
studies. Unique
footage of special
events can also be
captured.”
fore more productive. Video could
also potentially open up the doors of
higher education to those who cannot afford to pay for life on campus.

Game-Changing University Apps
University of Wisconsin Mobile App
New features of the UW app include a modernized
interface with iconic campus imagery and a scrolling
list of menu options, and access to Learn@UW, the
UW’s centralized educational tool. Users can view
material from classes that use either the Desire2Learn or Moodle software. Also expect integration
of the new UW Campus Map, which offers a more
detailed, up-to-date view of campus buildings compared to Google and Apple Maps. Visit http://www.
news.wisc.edu/23357.
Dartmouth App Focuses on Mental Wellness
According to Dartmouth College representatives, much
of the stress of student life remains hidden. In reality
faculty, student deans, and clinicians know little about
their students outside of the classroom. To shine a light
on student life, Dartmouth has introduced a StudentLife
smartphone app and sensing system to automatically
infer human behavior. The app addresses: Why do some
students do better than others? Why do students burnout,
drop classes, even drop out of college? What is the impact
of stress, mood, workload, sociability, sleep and mental
health on academic performance (i.e., GPA)? The study
used an Android app the school developed for smartphones carried by 48 students during a 10-week term. Courtesy of
Dartmouth. Visit http://studentlife.cs.dartmouth.edu.
Vanderbuilt Building Access App
With the Vanderbilt iPhone and Android apps, students can check Campus News and the Events calendar to find out
what’s happening. Other features include the Campus Map with wayfinding help. Visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/apps/.

Wearable technology
Wearables are making headways in
all sectors, and education should be
no exception. While it is still early
days, wearables, like Google Glass,
can potentially change life at university for the better, and its uses could
be countless: incorporation into
university sport or drama activities;
real-time, interactive experiences to
difficult-to-reach locations; remote
lecture participation and teacher
training (when a teacher wears
Google Glass in class); open days for
remote prospective students; firstperson experience of graduation for

16

University of Georgia Campus App
This app features Campus Transit bus tracker; Food Services
meal planner: Athletic Association scores and news; Campus
map and building search; and much more. Visit http://eits.uga.
edu/web_and_applications/mobileapps.
Notre Dame Apps Without Code
ND Mobile is a great way for students, staff, and faculty
to get information about campus directly on their mobile
device including maps, dining menus, news, video and sports
highlights. Native apps are available for iOS and Android
smartphones. Any device, including tablets and desktops, can
access the site at http://m.nd.edu.

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Photo by Mosborne.

5 EdTech Trends to
Watch in 2015
(continued from page 16)

those who cannot attend. The list could go on.
Digital badges
Digital badges, which are currently also being
used in the workplace to improve and monitor
employee engagement, can be valid indicators of
a student’s specific skills, experience and achievements like for instance the accomplishment of
a particular task. To teachers, they can signal a
school life of active learning, engagement and
ongoing development. Badges might end up
replacing diplomas and other certificates entirely
or at least be used in combination with them as
additional, backup information.

An example of a collaborative learning set-up and digital signage at Albany Senior High School. The monitor scrolls notices
for staff and students, and runs a slideshow of images.

Drones
The commercial and private use of drones is rising, more so in the US, but in the UK and Europe
too. Some students in the US are already bringing
drones on campus, bringing the BYOD concept
to the next level. Drones can be used to boost
teaching and learning, and to carry out surveys
and research, like 3D archeological mapping, the
gathering of geological and environmental data,
and wildlife study. Unique footage of university’s
everyday life or special events can also be captured.

3D printing
Thanks to ongoing technology breakthroughs, we
can do today what only a few years ago was
unimaginable. While 3D printers are particularly
popular in specific departments like engineering,
art and design and technology, more and more
schools are purchasing these printers for use across
all areas. With prices of 3D printers likely to go
down, this trend is only set to continue to increase.
Technology is dramatically and rapidly changing the way we teach and learn. Traditional

EdTech Forecast
(continued from page 14)

unique feature set. Once a standard is uniformly
adopted, the limitations of using a tablet as the
primary teaching resource will disappear.
Lecture Capture
President Obama seeks five million more graduates from community colleges by 2020. For
this to happen, Obama stated that he intends
to invest a total of $12 billion over the next
10 years. Known as the American Graduation
Initiative, the plan puts aside $9 billion to devise
new grants for schools to develop new programs
and to expand job training/counseling. His hope
is that these programs will boost learning for college students and lead to higher completion rates
for the schools. The plan also puts aside $2.5

billion to renovate facilities at college campuses.
One way to quickly accomplish this is to
utilize a virtual college. This form is a challenge
to the bricks and mortar educational institutional. In the future, you will be able to select
the courses that meet your educational goals and
shop for your credits from any combination of
colleges you would like. The term Massive Open
Online Course (MOOC) has been coined to help
discuss this. Most MOOC are free but right now
the completion rate is very low. What is missing
is the overall agency that approves the content,
credits and cubby-hole that it fits into. Once we
have that, there would be no limit to the number of students that could take a class, the cost
per credit hour would be leveled from provider
to provider, providing a way to get an education while reducing student debt. For the AV
Industry, this will require technical spaces, new

one-to-one teacher-student interaction remains
incredibly important, but students simply cannot
be expected to accept this conventional teaching model as the only possible one. Innovative
approaches to teaching might well become one of
the deciding factors for students when it comes to
choosing a university.
Martin Nurser is vice president of Qumu
EMEA. He brings more than 25 years of enterprise
and technology industry experience with emphasis on engineered systems and cloud technologies.

and simple lecture capture rooms for the subject
matter experts to present from and, naturally, the
connectivity to broadcast the content.
These are the building blocks for the classroom of the future, already available, but still
needing development. Within these challenges
lie opportunity, and its up to our industry to help
turn hopes for the future into reality.
Steve(n) Thorburn, PE, LEED AP, CTS-D, CTS-I
is the design principal of Thorburn Associates, an
acoustical consulting, technology system engineering and lighting design firm, with offices in
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando, Charlotte,
and the Raleigh Durham areas. He is active in
leading design and development of projects
around the world. Steve can be reached by email
at Steve@TA-Inc.com. An earlier version of this
article ran in a 2014 AV Technology edition. Visit
www.avnetwork.com for more information.

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connected classroom

Collaboration Curriculum
Tech managers in higher education should plan to support more
active learning environments.
A collaboration & huddle
room style system
from Video Furniture
International

East Meets West
A fully equipped teaching and production facility for both students and the community at
120,000-square-foot Emerson College Los
Angeles features a screening room, an audio/
video mixing suite, classrooms, faculty offices,
and a residence hall. Waveguide Consulting’s Los
Angeles office lead the design for the audiovisual and structured cabling systems. David Gales,
principal and director of California Operations
at the firm, explained that the concept of the
“connected classroom” was relatively new to
Emerson, which previously only had to contend
with communications between the buildings on
its main campus in Boston, Massachusetts. “Now
that they’ve moved in and are operating here,

By Carolyn Heinze

they have their videoconferencing and distance

A recent study conducted by EDUCAUSE found that a majority of undergraduates own two to three Internet-enabled devices, and the more of these devices
they own, the more they’re inclined to see the advantages of applying technology to their education. For those tech managers that are still gunning against
BYOD, this suggests—strongly—that they’re fighting a losing battle.
“It’s not only that folks are coming to campus
with BYOD; now it’s Bring You Own Everything,
really,” said Malcolm Brown, director of the
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, a community of
institutions working to advance higher education
through technology. “The challenge is herding all
of these cats, because now you have a proliferation of platforms and capabilities, and also: how
do you take advantage of this in the teaching and
learning space?” He urges colleges and universities
to focus less on the negative effects of BYOD—
students checking their email during lectures, for
example—and more on the benefits it has to offer.
“You can’t keep the network out of the classroom
and you can’t keep these devices off campus. What

18

you can do, obviously, is you can say, ‘for certain
critical things we can support these sorts of devices
and not those,’ and things like that. It is a bit of a
challenge, but there are opportunities there, too,
in terms of these devices as enablers and not just
impediments.”
This is an especially important point for colleges and universities that are exploring active
learning, which the University of Minnesota’s
Center for Teaching and Learning defines as students engaging in their studies “through reading,
writing, talking, listening, and reflecting,” rather
than more traditional forms of instruction, where
the prof is the one who does most of the talking. In 2014, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

learning classroom, and they use that to link to
Boston,” he said. “They also do a lot of videoconferencing between Boston and L.A. on an
administrative and operational level––because
their administrative and operational activities
have been elevated to a much bigger scale, they
use the connection for that.” —CH

launched a beta version of its Learning Space
Rating System, which is made up of close to 50
criteria upon which classroom design can be
assessed for its readiness for active learning. The
system is comparable to the U.S. Green Building
Council’s LEED model, which is used to rate the
level of sustainability and environmental friendliness in the construction process.
“The recognition that active learning is better
for learning than a more passive learning mode—
we’ve seen that begin to inform classroom design
and classroom outfitting,” Brown said. “We’re
seeing designs that are trying to anticipate, or
build into them, active learning engagements.”

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He points to the increasing
EDUCAUSE
www.educause.edu
interest in mobile projection,
FSR Inc.
which enables anyone with
www.fsrinc.com
Vaddio
a capable device to project
www.vaddio.com
content to the entire class, as
Waveguide
an example. “[It makes] the
Consulting
Inc.
class more participatory—in
www.waveguide.com
a sense, more democratic—and
is something, I think, that is representative of the direction in which
things are going.”
Along the same lines, Gina Sansivero, director of FSR, a manufacturer of collaboration tools,
switchers, and control products, headquartered in
Woodland Park, New Jersey, has noticed a definite
shift away from interactive learning through the
use of interactive whiteboards, toward collaborative learning, which allows for increased participation. “Where you have some sort of interactivity with an interactive whiteboard, you generally,
more often than not, have one or two users up at

info

“You can’t keep the
network out of the
classroom and you can’t
keep these devices off
campus.”

that screen,” she said. “With collaboration, you
have four, five, 10 users at a time able to work on
a single project and then sharing that work with
the other students, either within a classroom or
on different parts of the continent, or the world
in some cases, depending on how their distance
learning is set up. Collaborative learning has really
become a punch list item for those higher ed.

FSR’s HuddleVu collaboration system (above) allows multiple users to see and share the content on their laptops and
mobile devices on a main screen. No software or programming is required, and setups with four inputs or less can be
controlled by an external system. For wireless connectivity on campus, Gefen lets you extend HDMI video at 1080p full-HD,
with multichannel digital audio up to 80 feet. Pictured (below, right) is Gefen’s GTV-WHD-1080P-SR product.

institutions; it’s something that they know they
need if they don’t have it already.”
While David Gales, principal and director of
California Operations at Waveguide Consulting,
an audiovisual and communication technology consulting group headquartered in Decatur,
Georgia, concedes that students expect technology to be part of the instruction and learning
process—and that technologically advancved
facilities will have a competitive advantage—
he also believes that there will still be room for
more traditional models. “There are some who
say the physical campus is going to go away, or it
will become greatly diminished. I really don’t see

Capital Conundrum
While technology generally needs to be upgraded every three to five years, the budgeting models that many colleges and universities apply don’t always accommodate this––especially when funding for these systems come
from capital improvement projects, which are sometimes as long as 25 years apart.
“What happens is the technology gets old and starts to fail, and it becomes challenging to keep it up to date,”
said David Gales, principal and director of California Operations at Waveguide Consulting What’s more, there is
often a big difference between how advanced the technology is in one building on campus, versus the building
next door. “And now you have this huge disparity between what was done five years ago and never updated, and
what’s new in the latest building. The funding systems and the legacy organizations have not really evolved in a

that happening,” he said. “I
think these technologies that can educate people
online without the physical campus or the physical presence of an instructor are valuable for a
certain segment of the market, but not for everybody.” He cited a recent visioning project that he
and his team conducted for a community college,
which included interviews with students: “Quite
a few students said, ‘Look, I don’t want all of this
online, remote, flipped classroom stuff. I want to
come to a class and I want a structured environment with a teacher teaching me.’ So there is a student population out there that needs the structure,
that needs the social connections, that needs the
resources of a physical campus, and I don’t think
that’s going to go away.”
Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.

lot of institutions to keep up with what the new model needs to be.” —CH

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HDBaseT in Education…
Are We There Yet?
The challenges & opportunities of HDBaseT in educational
verticals.
By Gina Sansivero
There have been some interesting talks about the adoption of
HDBaseT, especially in higher ed. I
understand why—it’s quite  amazing that you can send video, audio,
control, Ethernet, and  power over
a single (inexpensive) CAT cable.
Interestingly enough, during my
discussions with technology managers, it seems many are holding
off just a little bit longer before
taking the plunge. However, a few
have already adopted the technolThe HDBaseT Alliance explains HDBaseT Spec 2.0 details in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY6mPLZTjkc
ogy and are standardizing on it
in their classrooms campus wide.
cat—is arguably one of my best attributes. And unreliability for some manufacturers’ products to
Why is  HDBaseT being adopted so this time, as is usually the case, it got the better of “talk” to other’s and are waiting for more consisslowly in higher ed when it seems me. I really needed to know why. So I reached out tent  “5-play” availability. AV/multimedia manto  some of my friends, readers,  and contacts in ager Thomas Garrity  mentioned that “although
like an edtech panacea? Okay, maybe higher ed AV and IT departments and asked them this technology looks promising and will help
that’s a little dramatic, but we can these three questions: Are you using HDBaseT reduce  costs for future installations, I, personagree that it is a cost effective solution currently and/or are they being spec’d into room ally, would like to  wait until it is  tested in the
upgrades now? Or, are you waiting a little longer wider marketplace and becomes standard practice
to many challenges.
before buying into HDBaseT?

I speak with AV techs every day; I get to learn
about their headaches and problems. From an outside perspective, certainly HDBaseT should be able
to help. Curiosity—which so many say killed the

Not Quite Where We Need To Be
Not surprisingly, many AV techs are still holding off on  adopting HDBaseT. They site the

amongst AV vendors, integrators, and manufacturers. As we focus on future facility projects, consideration of HDBaseT will play a considerable role.” 
Thomas Hayes, multimedia integration design
developer at the University of  Ottawa, has simi-

“We upgraded a lectern-based system this summer, and reduced the number
of connections in the floor from five to a single EtherCon and power. I no
longer have to worry about my control cable being connected to the video jack
if someone moves the lectern.”
20

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connected classroom
FSR’s HDBaseT transmitters and receivers

lar concerns: “The main
reason [for not specifying HDBaseT] is  I want to
ensure this will be a standard that will be around
for a few years and not be like the HDMI/DP issue
that we have seen. Universities have much  lower
operational budgets now, so we can no longer take
chances when it comes to technology that may or
may not pan out.” Hayes also provided a wish list
for  manufacturers which he claims, once mainstream, will motivate him to specify HDBaseT into
his designs. At the top of the list “a direct link into
the device  rather than the now costly encoder/
decoder boxes that are required.” 
Ready for Primetime
Alternately,  there were quite a few more than I
had anticipated who are already using  HDBaseT
technology on their campuses and actively
incorporating it into their  standard AV room
designs. The reasons were clear; inexpensive, easy
to run,  reliable cable equals less cost, less work,
and more options. Tim Cichos, senior AV engineer
at the University of Notre Dame, put it succinctly:
“Easy  cable (CAT6)  to install, terminate and
maintain. Also with everything going digital, it
was time to upgrade our analog systems anyway.”
Jesse Anderson from College of the  Holy
Cross has been  using HDBaseT in his classroom
upgrades for about two years  now (practically
since inception) and agrees with Cichos. Anderson
explained, “One thing I’d note to people consider-

ing  adoption—we’ve
designated a standard wire and
jack color for HDBaseT that is different from all
of our  existing standard colors—while it means
that our integrators have some  materials that are
specific to our site, it makes things much easier
for our  end-users. The other reason [for using
HDBaseT technology] is 5-Play. We  upgraded a
lectern-based system this summer, and  reduced
the number of connections in the floor from 5 to
a single EtherCon and power. I no longer have to
worry about my control cable being connected to
the video jack if someone moves the lectern.”
This Town Is Big Enough For All
Of Us
Clearly,  HDBaseT technology has qualified benefits for higher ed classroom  installations. It

seems that manufacturers will continue to see an
increase in the demand for products incorporating HDBaseT as long as those products work
seamlessly in their room and system designs.
Unfortunately, one of the speed bumps that often
slows progress is the lack of interest from manufacturers to develop products that “play well”
with others. As interest becomes intent our  AV
professionals in higher ed will move forward with
HDBaseT enabled products  that cooperate  and
offer the full array of 5-play capabilities. This
ensures  they can design a room that works best
for their staff, students and faculty  rather than a
room designed using products which limit  them
to a small choice  of compatible equipment and
crossed fingers.
Gina Sansivero is director of Educational Sales
at FSR in Woodland Park, New Jersey. You can
reach her via gsansivero@fsr.com or @GinaSans
on Twitter. 

Inside Indiana University’s Advanced
Visualization Lab
The Indiana University’s Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) supports visualization-related activities in research, education and community-related outreach. It provides access to progressive systems that assist teams
in computing, designing, visualizing, simulating and modeling 3D cyber systems. Two key areas in the AVL concerned with high-definition content are the Science on a Sphere (SOS) and the IQ-Wall. The SOS is a 360-degree, six-foot spherical display that hangs suspended in the atrium. It shows visualizations delivered from four
high-definition projectors to create a seamless, circular image.
“We had a bit of a challenge here because even though the projectors are in the same building as the SOS,
they are 150-feet apart,” explained Chris Eller, a team lead for the UITS AVL. “We installed four Gefen Extenders for HDMI over CAT5 with Ethernet to deliver signals from the projectors to our SOS with great results. We
were able to use network cabling, which is easier to maintain and service, and more economical than fiber. The

moreonline

long range of this extender saved the day, and it’s great because it handles equalizations. It just works perfectly.

This video explains the HDBaseT Spec 2.0 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY6mPLZTjkc&featur
e=youtube_gdata

We’re familiar with Gefen solutions and this one worked out really well.”
Gefen lets you wirelessly extend HDMI video at 1080p full-HD, with multichannel digital audio up to 80 feet
(25 meters). )

T h e T ec h n o lo gy Manager’s Guid e to connected campus | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5 | av ne two r k .co m

21

connected classroom
Collaborating
Untethered
(continued from page 11)

Google’s Chromecast dongle is small, inexpensive, easy to use, but currently only allows video
from supported apps such as Netflix (true mirroring
is a beta feature).
Miracast is a standard based on Wi-Fi Direct and
is used in a variety of products, including most running Android 4.2+, but suffers from latency (the lag
between the video signal being sent and displayed)
and other issues.
The Kickstarter-funded AIRTAME (https://airtame.com) is a newcomer generating plenty of
buzz. It promises to combine the best features of the
aforementioned devices (zero-configuration, 1080p
video, multi-platform support), but this remains to
be seen.
For now, you’ll have to assess your needs before
investing in a particular product, but you have some
quality options from which to choose.
Whatever approach you take, wireless video
takes us one step closer to a completely untethered
technology experience and transforms our ability to

(Above) An example of technology used in a college classroom. How many of your AV & control devices can be operated
wirelessly? What products can help you go wireless?

collaborate in a variety of spaces.
Chris Millet, M.Ed., is assistant director,
Education
Technology Services at The Pennsylvania State
University. This story reflects the opinions of Chris
Millet and does not represent the official position of The
Pennsylvania State University.

moreonline
Penn State offers a free product called Mirror to enable
Bonjour and AppleTV on enterprise networks:
http://mirror.psu.edu

Collaborative
Progress
(continued from page 10)

You were one of the “early adopters” at UMass.
Could you describe the initial experience?
TreaAndrea Russworm: We started out with the
summer-long program; we were the first crop.
And because I was in the first crop, I got to make
sure they had independent HDMIs at the table
so the game consoles could actually work there.
It was good to be able to have input when they
were designing the classes so they could meet
my needs. For me, it was important because you
can’t hook up game consoles in the standard
classrooms.
What can you share regarding technology and
pedagogy in your classes?
TreaAndrea Russworm: What I’ve learned, especially with my students that are juniors and
seniors, is that they can handle the content.
Talking about it and working with it, they learn

22

A slight variant on the TBL (team-based learning) paradigm, the UMass Amherst case study room uses much of the same
tech, but employs a more traditional lecture layout. The room is outfitted with additional equipment and has been used for
distance learning classes with the UMass Center at Springfield.

more than if I just lecture on it.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ILC was
in December 2014. From the positive feedback,
it’s unlikely that anything will stay static for long

inside this hub of innovative education.
Garen S. Sahagian is a writer, UMass
student, and editorial intern with NewBay Media’s
AV Technology magazine.

J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5 | av ne twor k. c om | T h e T ec h nology Manager’s Guid e to connected campus