Commercial Integrator 2023 - 55

C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
answer for meetings and small-group collaboration where simplicity
and ease of use are paramount.
Pros: An all-in-one AV system eliminates the need for separate
components, and reduces the complexity of setting up and
operating the system. These systems are typically plug and play,
requiring minimal technical knowledge or expertise to operate.
These AV systems are available in a variety of sizes and configurations,
ranging from small desktop units, to mountable displays,
to larger floor-standing systems. They have a much lower cost
of entry as compared to a fully integrated system; often, only
require a power outlet and a single network jack. Little to no
training is necessary because the systems typically mirror the
Zoom and Teams interfaces that users have already become
comfortable with over the course of the pandemic. Lastly, little
to no professional AV integration is needed, as these units can
often be installed in house as simply as hanging a home television
and/or can be placed on a rolling cart for portability from
room to room. Digital equity is possible due to every student
having the same experience.
Cons: All-in-one solutions are typically configured to be
logged into one " room " license. This can make it difficult for
users to utilize their personal accounts when trying to join their
own personal session. The audio and video can be below prolevel
quality and suboptimal for spaces larger than a conference
room. The farthest viewer tends to take a literal back seat due
to limited screen sizes. And, when used to share both content
and remote participants, the view size can become a challenge.
While adding multiple displays can solve for farthest viewer, the
additional cost can negate the financial benefit of an all-in-one
system. Lastly, due to Zoom fatigue, there is often less interaction
among students and faculty. The " camera off " student might
not get enough attention for effective teaching and learning.
Production Studios
Dedicated production studios, also known as " one-button
studios, " are specialized spaces designed to provide faculty and
students with the tools and resources needed to produce video
content on the fly in a simple manner. These studios include
audio- and video-capture equipment, simplified user interfaces,
confidence monitors for presentations, an e-glass annotation
option, preset overlay templates, dual windows to record as well
as stream content and camera shots simultaneously, proper
lighting and audio reinforcement, teleprompters, greenscreens
or backdrop curtains, and the editing tools for creating higher-quality
content. These spaces are used to create asynchronous
content for learning management systems yet can also be
leveraged for livestream broadcasting to a remote online course.
Pros: Dedicated production studios allow professional-quality
video creation without a need for a full production team. Sometimes,
they're completely self-service, as simple as inserting a
thumb drive to record to and pressing " go. " Production studios
offer the ability to prerecord lecture content for posting prior to
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lecture; that way, class time can be used for collaboration, discussion
and application of the content. Faculty can focus class
time on interacting with students, rather than presenting. The
content can be prerecorded and utilized for multiple semesters;
moreover, with proper post-production editing, there will be
a high-quality product ready for distribution. This adds to the faculty
member's professional persona. When used in a live session,
annotation and quality audio and video add to the student farend
experience. Early post-pandemic data suggests that faculty
who leverage this dual modality see greater student success.
Top-performing learning institutions (like USC) leverage all three
modalities, aligning space, solution and pedagogical method.
Cons: These spaces are devoted to one specific purpose;
they're harder to scale and support; and they have a high cost of
entry. Collaboration can be hard during synchronous instruction
because the space's focus is on content delivery - not receipt
and interaction. Confidence monitors can bring in far-end students,
but the environments are configured for production value
over collaboration. Even with one-button solutions, production
studios often require technical assistance during set up and
post-production. Depending on the setup, there can be high
costs for installation and ongoing support. Special knowledge to
install and configure a production space properly might require
additional professional integration services and consultants.
The world has changed. Education has changed. Technology
choices must enhance and align with today's desired teaching
and learning experiences. There is no right or wrong choice;
there's only what meets each need. Integrated systems, allin-one
solutions and dedicated production studios all serve a
purpose and have pros and cons. The schools managing postpandemic
education the best are those that leverage all three
modalities, aligning space, solution and pedagogical method.
Joe Way, PhD, CTS, is director of learning environments at USC.
JUNE 2023 Commercial Integrator 55
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Commercial Integrator 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator 2023

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