Thomas Kopin, Global Engineering Specialist
Educational technology is evolving rapidly, shifting away from traditional methods of teaching to an active model where students collaborate on projects in small groups to improve learning outcomes. To foster such an approach that emphasizes group learning and student collaboration, educational institutions are increasingly adopting new technologies. However, facilitating such digital collaborative classrooms presents several challenges, which include accommodating multiple devices and platforms on the same network, maintaining network resources to allocate sufficient bandwidth, and ensuring that technology is being effectively utilized. A leading innovator in the professional audiovisual (AV) industry, Kramer Electronics, offers comprehensive collaboration solutions and smart technology products for multiple industries including the education sector. “We bring effective, collaborative classrooms that are extremely flexible and fully compatible with emerging styles of learning,” states Thomas Kopin, global engineering specialist, Kramer.
Collaborative classrooms allow teachers to easily manage students and quickly complete the designated curriculum. Projects or tasks are assigned to groups rather than individual students since working in a team to develop ideas and solve problems is an important skill for college and career readiness. The Kramer Collaborative Classroom (KCC) solution is comprised of the following: Kramer VIA is a suite of wireless presentation and collaboration solutions that enhance interactive learning while supporting wireless connectivity in classrooms. “Kramer VIA enables both presenter and participants to edit, share, and view files in real time,” states Kopin. Facilitating a bring your own device policy, the Kramer VIA product line supports any laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Leveraging Kramer VIA, students can connect their devices wirelessly and collaborate on projects; they can view presentations on their personal devices and also mirror their device to the main display.
Kramer VIA enables both presenter and participants to edit, share, and view files in real time
With the addition of a Kramer Control panel, teachers can manage the different workgroup displays, along with room elements like media sources, audio-visual equipment, lights, and HVAC. Additionally, Kramer VIA features include e-polling, e-exams, and whiteboarding.
The Kramer Collaborative Classroom solution helps teachers better engage students through technology. When a student group collaborating on a project signals the teacher for assistance through their device, the teacher can then review the problem on their device and take appropriate action. If the problem is relevant to the entire class, the teacher can use the main display or students’ individual screens to explain the solution. Moreover, the Kramer VIA user interface can be customized according to an educational facility’s needs, and workflows for students and teachers can be incorporated into the Kramer Control system.
Kopin illustrates the seamless connectivity of the Kramer Collaborative Classroom solution with an account of the company’s recent venture with California State University, Stanislaus. The university required a campus-wide AV solution that was cloud-based and device agnostic. The faculty and students wanted a collaborative classroom environment that was easy to use and intuitive for all audiences. With the VIA product line, which included Kramer VIA collaboration and presentation solution for wireless connectivity in a classroom environment, coupled with Kramer Control and AV over IP routing capability, Kramer helped create an active learning environment that allowed instructors and students to collaborate in real time.
As a global company, Kramer has 27 offices around the world rather than just distribution centers to ensure customer satisfaction and gain critical insights into different markets. This allows the company to build smarter, end-to-end solutions based on dedicated hardware, software, and cloud technologies. Furthermore, Kramer is constantly innovating and adding new features and products to meet dynamic market demands while maintaining compatibility with older systems. The company continues to be a leading player and pioneer in the AV industry since its inception in 1981.