• Visual System Solutions

TECHNOLOGY DISPLAYING THE FREEDOM TO LEARN

Pure AV utilises Panasonic LCD displays to turn a traditional 48 seat IT lab at School of Pharmacy at Keele University into a modern 60 seat collaborative learning space.

I think the student experience in this room is going to be absolutely amazing. The ability for them to use their own technology to find their own information and then share that information freely within the group is probably going to be the biggest thing.

Katie Maddock - MPharm course director

Client – Keele University
Location – Newcastle-under-Lyme
Products Supplied – TH-49LF80
Challenge

To increase the capacity of the University room while reducing the overall footprint.

Solution

To implement Panasonic AV equipment in order to create an innovative, collaborative workspace for pharmacy students.


The school of Pharmacy at Keele is where students explore both the scientific and clinical aspects of a career in Pharmacy. As an environment for learning, it is wide-reaching and requires technology to support a diverse range of learning objectives.

To meet this requirement, the School has invested in Panasonic's innovative AV solutions in order to turn what was 48 seat IT lab into a modern 60 seat collaborative space.

Fresh look at the learning space

The School sought a fresh approach to the room layout and this was achieved through creating a collaborative workspace with new furniture. Pure AV carefully designed a layout to encourage team work. It features ten tables, each with an integrated 49” display, replacing banks of desks and computers.

Each of the TH-49LF80 displays are accompanied by a laptop or desktop workstations. Furthermore, colour coded six-seat tables improve group activities.

The displays are high brightness (700 cd/m2) with an IPS panel for excellent off-axis visibility even in bright environments

The lecturer can present the content of each lecture on the displays by using the Extron control panel which stands on the lectern. Another innovative solution is a Kramer Via Connect Pro system for


wireless collaborative casting. This has greatly enhanced the adaptability of the space and helped lecturers introduce innovative teaching methods.

“The new teaching space was designed with collaborative learning in mind, along with features that would accommodate the School of Pharmacy’s latest augmented reality teaching tools.”

As Reg Icli emphasises, “The new teaching space was designed with collaborative learning in mind, along with features that would accommodate the School of Pharmacy’s latest augmented reality teaching tools.”

The ‘Digital Health Hub’ combines wireless collaborative casting tools alongside increased room capacity, encouraging students to work together and allowing better interaction with the AR teaching


tools that have been developed and are increasingly used within the School of Pharmacy. 

Reg Icli believes that, “The wireless casting is a fantastic addition to the space and has helped us to change the way we teach, particularly through the use of AR tools which can be managed locally in a very effective and simple way.”

“The wireless casting is a fantastic addition to the space and has helped us to change the way we teach, particularly though the use of AR tools which can be managed locally in a very effective and simple way.”


The flexibility to adapt

Another challenge to the project was to make the Digital Health Hub flexible, so that it is possible to adapt to various activities. As the MPharm course director, Katie Maddock, explains, “We wanted to design something that was very flexible and allow us to do all sorts of creative things. We’ve got our own augmented reality technology that we can project out to the students, or we can set up small group creative projects within the larger group teaching.”

“We’ve got our own augmented reality technology that we can project out to the students, or we can set up small group creative projects within the larger group teaching.”

The sessions in the Digital Health Hub would therefore range from standard ones, involving the presentation of slide or web content, to more complex ones with the review of diagnostic imaging or the use of the AR teaching tools.


Improvement in student experience

“I think the student experience in this room is going to be absolutely amazing. The ability for them to use their own technology to find their own information and then share that information freely within the group is probably going to be the biggest thing. Also being able to project our own high-tech, cutting-edge augmented reality tools, so that each student group can do something different with it, is going to be tremendous,” says Katie Maddock.

The initial response to the transformation has been positive, driven in part by the upgrade to the sound system and introduction of LCD displays that has greatly influenced the quality of the student experience. The new environment creates great opportunities for making notes, utilising digital whiteboards, sharing files and even taking turns controlling linked displays to present to the whole room. Also, the near DICOM standard of


the Panasonic LCD displays turned out to be a significant addition for Radiography students, improving their work on diagnostic imaging.

Digital pathway through education

The transformation from classroom to collaborative workspace was completed in six weeks. Students and lecturers returning for the 2017-18 academic year, did so to a fresh and innovative environment.