University of Idaho

The Teacher Becomes the Student in a
Hands-on Training and Collaboration Lab

Teachers today have a host of powerful new technologies in their toolbox, including learning studios, BYOD and various collaborative devices. Yet, how effectively they can use them may be an open question. Recognizing that, the University of Idaho commissioned Diversified for an active learning classroom for the hands-on training of elementary, middle school and high school teachers, as well as their own professors and staff.

There are five collaboration centers that seat up to six people. Each station has a 55” or 60” touch display and a dedicated iPad at the table for control. Participants sit at the tables and plug in their computers to share their screens or use an AppleTV device to share content from iPads or iPhones. One workstation has a Vaddio pan-tilt-zoom camera to record interactions and enable remote participation.

An HDMI-over-IP network-based switching and distribution system allows sharing of any screen to any or all displays in the classroom. This system is based on Just Add Power components and software, providing an affordable way to create a matrix setup by pushing virtually any number of HD video and sources out to any number of endpoints. The control network uses both USB and wireless networks. USB is most often used for interactive display devices, while the wireless control network allows instructors to take over the students’ devices.

The digital recording system can record in several formats appropriate for online viewing or for non-linear editing systems the University uses for post-production. The sound system, with wireless microphones, is programmed to handle more than 30 program audio sources including far end audio. The existing lab was designed to be picked up and moved when its new home is eventually built. “I could see us taking many or all of the collaboration stations, transitioning those into a classroom, and then trying out something new in the lab.” said Royce Kimmons, Doceo Director. “It’s a space where we’re constantly evolving, constantly innovating and trying new things.”