The Bull And The Bear

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CEDARVILLE, OH-With support from KeyBank and the Key Foundation, Cedarville University now features the KeyBank Trading Center, a space that provides the school's finance students access to leading technologies in a realistic stock trading environment. The center boasts 20 double-monitor workstations, an electronic data ticker, a data wall of constantly changing financial info, a 63-inch plasma screen for classroom presentations, and a 37-inch monitor for a live financial news feed. The entire system is controlled by a Crestron system, including a touchscreen at the instructor's station.

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Dr. Bill Ragle, associate professor of finance, uses the new stock trading room at Cedarville University, which is controlled by a Crestron system.
The university contacted Cincinnati-based Premier Network Solutions (Prenet) with the project idea. "The room was created to provide the opportunity for our students to get training on how a real stock trading room operates," explained Scott Deetz, AV services manager at Cedarville. "A lot of the business department students will do internships at banks or other firms that will have stock trading rooms, and this gives them the ability to get an understanding of how it will work, how they should trade, and how to watch the different stocks on the market."

The school had worked with Prenet previously on other classrooms and media libraries, but this was an unusual idea for them both. "It was a great project, not the normal thing that comes around every day," said Chuck Neal, account executive, Prenet. "We did some research on what they were looking for, and how we needed the Crestron pieces to interact with the teaching station, as well as the desktop units that each student has." Each student has a dual monitor on his or her desk that has a Bloomberg feed going to it, which is also monitored by the system.

The teaching station includes a DVD player, CD player, and other components. The main feature is a Crestron TPMC-17-QM, which allows the teachers a wide range of control options via the QuickMedia transport. This includes interactivity so they may write on the panel and have the results displayed on the 63-inch Samsung or the 37-inch Panasonic displays in the front of the room. "It's very intuitive, so it's easy to understand by all of the instructors," said Scott Douglass, account executive, Prenet. "They can just walk in and press a few buttons and the system's up and operational."

Crestron RoomView software was installed all across campus, so the AV department can monitor the room and the projectors. This saves a great deal of time when, for instance, an instructor is having a minor technical problem that can be easily remedied. "There have been a couple of incidences when there's been a small problem. They call our office, and we just sit at our desks, pull up the touchpanel, and see if there's a problem that we can correct," said Deetz. "They can reply back because we have the help button feature on the Crestron, and they'll reply saying the problem is fixed. We've fixed a lot just from our office."

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This is also a benefit to Prenet. "We also have a touchpanel, an XPanel, so if we get a page from the touchpanel, we can work on it here," said Neal. XPanel provides control over a web browser, so Prenet can work on the problem from its offices. "We can see what steps they're taking, what buttons they're pressing, through their XPanel. Cedarville is about an hour north of us, so if we can do something remotely, that's great."

However not all viewing, so to speak, is done remotely; some is done adjacent to the very room. The back wall of the KeyBank Trading Center is all glass, and serves as a viewing area for visitors. Prenet put a monitor and a speaker out in the hallway, so passersby can see what is on the plasma in the class. This is also supported by QuickMedia.

To celebrate the new center, Cedarville rang the opening bell as is done on Wall Street in a ceremony that Prenet was pleased to attend. "To see the enthusiasm that the students had for getting this great tool that's going to help them be productive in their life was great," said Douglass. "You never get to see your work used or see the fruition of it, but in this case you know that the students are going to get something out of this classroom."

Crestron...www.crestron.com
Premier Network Solutions...www.prenet.com

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