On Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. ET, AV Technology will host “The Evolved Hybrid Classroom” webcast, an hour of enlightening and engaging conversation. As AV/IT directors plan for summer revamps, we learn what technology solutions will define the next-gen hybrid classroom.
Topics include ensuring parity with quality audio and video experience near and far, bringing remote students into the classroom experience, and balancing synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning.
Webcast moderator Cindy Davis asked each of the panelists to share a bit about themselves and what they plan on bringing to the discussion. The following are some excerpts.
Aurangzeb Khan, senior vice president, Intelligent Vision Systems at Jabra GB
I'm responsible for the collaboration business. Jabra has a long history of producing industry leading audio products over the last two years. With the integration of my company, we are building a unique video technology, combining audio and video products to create an immersive experience that really informs and improves the educational experience, especially hybrid education. Our products allow educators to move around freely, and use all the tools that they're used to using to produce a great educational experience.
Matt Kopin, North American product manager at Kramer Electronics
I am the US product manager for our VIA family of products, Kramer's approach to wireless presentation and collaboration. VIA supports the hybrid education environment where educators are having to deal with not only students that may be in the room, but also remotely. Our new initiative at Kramer is to provide solutions that help them teach in ways that they always have previously, but by leveraging technology that doesn't get in the way of their teaching.
Dr. Holger Stoltze, senior director, Technical Sales and Marketing at Yamaha Unified Communications
I'm working with our unified communications products for hybrid spaces, whether that is in education or in corporations. People need to be able to communicate and have their audio heard on all sides of a classroom. What we are seeing right now is that it's no longer just the presenter, just the teacher, who needs to be captured. Because of this new environment of hybrid classrooms, it’s important to be able to actually capture what the students and the teacher are saying, so that people at the far end—the other students who are not in the room—can actually hear and be part of the whole conversation. We see a shift there from focusing on the presenter, the teacher, to focusing on the whole room.
Randy Tritz, partner of Shen Milsom & Wilke and managing principal of SM&W Chicago
I’ve been with the firm for about 20 years now, and I came up through the industry as an instructor. I bring the perspective of the user and the interface between the product and the application. So the role that Shen Milsom & Wilke brings and that I bring too, that is that perspective in terms of how we interface the right tools with the right application. We’re looking to facilitate the experience of the instructors and the students not only in the classroom, but the remote class as well, as we're seeing students just down the hall in the same class. While at the same time the instructor isn't inundated with, “Which button do I press now?”
Hal Truax, vice president of sales and marketing at Hall Technologies
There's a lot going on at Hall Technologies, which was formerly Hall Research for about 36 years, and I'm here to talk about our HIVE suite of products, which are focused right now on education. We've seen the classroom change to homeschooling, to hybrid learning, to a blend of different things—and it's been quite difficult for the students and the instructors. We've got a system that makes it very, very easy for instructors to teach and focus on what they're passionate about, which is teaching and keeping the students engaged. It doesn't matter if it's a hybrid solution or it is a 100-percent on-premise server, or if it's distance learning; we allow everybody to be heard. We allow the information and the lectures to be captured and viewed later. I’m here to talk about how to improve the efficacy of education today, which needs a shot in the arm.
Joe Way, director of Learning Environments at the University of Southern California
I'm the director of Learning Environments at USC overseeing about 70 percent of campus. I'm also the co-founder of HETMA, the Higher Education Technology Management Alliance, which is an advocacy group for all my cohorts around the country—about 700 members and 300 different universities.
I’ll be the voice for the person with the boots on the ground day in day out, seeing what is it that the students are looking for, the faculty need at USC. We just did the largest technology upgrade in the history of the school. We upgraded every single one of our spaces to full hybrid instruction. They all look and sound nice on paper while the campuses are empty. Now that people are getting in there and starting to use it, our focus is how do you take a faculty member and a student who was used to teaching and learning in one way, with no technology, to then move to a full online experience, to now coming back and going, "Okay, what is this? Why are there half of my students on this screen next to me, and then some are in front of me? And what does that pedagogy look like?”
The Evolved Hybrid Classroom Webcast
Thursday, April 22, at 2:00 p.m. ET