Like a lot of school districts across America, the Southern York County School district in Pennsylvania was in need of a technology refresh. For one thing, it needed "building-wide wireless access with a network infrastructure to support both district and personally owned technology," says the school district's coordinator of technology Bruce Mickey.
Mount Joy, Pa.-based integrator Sage Technology Solutions was brought in to provide interactive whiteboards, projectors, amps, speakers and generally bring 48 classrooms up to BYOD (bring your own device) speed, says president Daniel Rohrer.
Now the Polyvision Eno whiteboards are tied into the amplification systems which sync with the building intercom and paging systems and teachers have full A/V control via an icon strip on the whiteboard.
Having an interactive whiteboard in each classroom "including an integrated video, audio solution managed from a convenient teacher station" was a big priority, adds Mickey.
Instead of being outdated, the classrooms now offer students cutting-edge features like watching live morning announcement broadcasts via Ethernet TV displayed on the whiteboard projection screens.
"Multiple students are able to simultaneously interact with digital content via remote responders, a mini-slate device or touch pen," says the school district's technology integration specialist Ben Louey. "This technology has proved to effectively engage students in a collaborative learning environment."
In order to make the technology refresh possible Sage had to deal with a lot of new wires. It wasn't exactly a retrofit, more of "building renovation" complete with "gut and redo," says Rohrer, but the volume of HDMI, composite, S-Video, Coax and VGA that needed to be installed in the 48-classroom project was daunting.
"We definitely try to stay away from field terminating any of these connectivity items," he says. Sage used three versions of RapidRun®, a solution by C2G, to minimize labor and connectivity issues.
Runner cables for multimedia, PC and digital addressed signal requirements with three in-wall plenum cables and runners were terminated with RapidRun wall plates at the teacher's station and individual flying leads at the device end. "The flying leads come in different lengths, which are perfect for reaching all of the different devices in the classroom."
Design for the project began as early as 2010, Rohrer estimates, which means there are more analog considerations that Sage tends to see in today's K-12 project designs. "They asked for composite and S-Video as well as HDMI and HD15 [VGA]. In newer projects we're seeing just HDMI and the analog is quickly going away."
In the case of Southern York County School district, a digital runner was included in the project to carry HDMI and DVI signals for future A/V and PC hardware. The expectation is that eventually the VGA connector will go away, and the classrooms will remain capable of supporting digital A/V devices.
Posted with permission from the April 2, 2013 issue of Commercial Integrator® Commercial Integrator. Copyright 2013, EH Publishing. All rights reserved. For more information on the use of this content, contact Wright's Media at 877.652.5295
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