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Connected Learning - AvNetwork.com

Connected Learning

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Functionality can be delivered to any part of the school campus over the data network, so the autonomous classrooms or schools become borderless. COLLEGE STATION, TX-Three years ago, when Franklin School District superintendent Brett Lowery asked Joe Squiers to step into the role of director of technology for the district, north of College Station, TX, Squiers found that he had stepped into the Stone Age of AV and communications technology.

Now the three-school, 1,050-student district has entered the Space Age with a comprehensive system design and learning environment by Dan Gable, regional technology director for Elert & Associates. Elert is a Stillwater, MN-based technology consulting and training company specializing in educational facilities. The system design incorporates CampusSV software, developed by SchoolView Technologies, created specifically to power the design.

"Franklin wanted a unified system with a centralized and simple user interface controlling and touching traditional systems including PA, bell, synchronized clocks, local sound systems, IP video delivery, and CCTV security cameras," Gable said. "We made sure everything rode on the IP data network path, creating a lot of economy in a robust system by eliminating the traditional infrastructure, without duplication."

They also wanted a 10-year advance on the backbone of the system, with the capability of adding to it, Squiers said.

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The Franklin system features an amalgamation of SchoolView CampusSV Software with Barix and Calypso hardware to deliver audio and video over IP as the ideal solution for classroom, school, or district-wide centralized control. Barix technology is integrated with Calypso, and the SchoolView software application makes everything tick.

"We approached several manufacturers, and Calypso is the one that hung in there and developed the box we needed by incorporating the power of the Barix technology into an existing product," Gable said. "Each classroom has its own web-serving control box, giving teachers comprehensive control of their classroom technology such as audio and video inputs, display devices, document cameras, TVs, LCD flat panels, or video projectors. The Calypso/Barix CA1000SV box is the heart of the system."

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The Franklin School District system features an amalgamation of SchoolView CampusSV Software with Barix and Calypso hardware delivering audio and video over IP throughout the district, with AMX touchpanels and control processing.
To drive the Calypso/Barix box unified control of each campus technology, an overriding software application was needed, he said. "The GUI to make the system user-friendly is the CampusSV software."

AMX also is also a foundation of the system, providing touchpanels and control processing, typically located in the administration office reception area of each school.

Broadcast carts at each school can make the rounds, operating like CCTV, and offering morning announcements with video. "The carts are part of our digital video class," Squiers said. "The system allows our tech classes to have competitions where they can develop promotional movies and can publish their work. It was worth doing the whole system just for these carts alone."

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