https://www.mmt.cl/ More than 100 hybrid classrooms have an advanced solution with the technology of all-in-one USB devices for Bose Videobar VB1 conferences.
Founded in 1842, the University of Chile is the oldest higher education institution in the Andean country and one of the most important in the American continent. In its classrooms, 21 Chilean presidents and two Nobel Prize-winning writers have been trained.
It has 15 faculties and five interdisciplinary institutes, distributed over five campuses in Santiago de Chile, serving more than 43,000 students. With the aim of ensuring that classes continue regardless of distance or any other external factor, the University of Chile began an ambitious project of online education and hybrid classrooms in which Bose Professional technology plays a very important role.
In mid-2020, during the hardest months of the pandemic, the university decided to develop an online learning project based on the integration of hybrid classrooms. The goal was for it to be ready to offer the best teaching-learning experience once the restrictions were relaxed and the return to the classroom was allowed, even partially. The project was entrusted to the IT Vice-Rector, responsible for the university’s technological strategy, and its execution fell to the Office of Online Education.
Darío Riquelme Zornow, Project Manager at the Online Education Office and project leader, explains that at the beginning a standardized solution was thought for all classrooms, auditoriums and laboratories, however, the idea was quickly discarded once they understood that each faculty represents a different challenge.
“We talked with the teachers to find out how they teach their classes. We asked them to show us the way they move around the classroom, to share with us their way of writing on the blackboard or using the projector. We also ask the students to find out how they participate in class when they are in face-to-face mode and how they do it remotely”, explains Riquelme Zornow.
The Chilean company Tecnomove, a specialist in audiovisual solutions, was the winner of the public tender selected to develop the hybrid classroom solution. Tecnomove focused on the design of several solution models to respond to the different space needs and class dynamics. After several tests and evaluating the performance of devices from different manufacturers, he decided to divide the project into three solution models: basic, intermediate and advanced.
Advanced Solution Hybrid Classrooms
The so-called “advanced model” offers the simplest and most transparent user experience for the teacher, since its implementation is very agile and in just a few seconds he is ready to start his class, write on the white board, display a presentation or a video and share their teachings both with the students present in the classroom and with those who participate remotely.
For high-end hybrid classrooms, Tecnomove integrated a solution that includes the Bose Videobar VB1 all-in-one USB conferencing device, a Kaptivo camera to capture the image of the whiteboard, and a Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub device for session initiation and control. the other devices.
The Bose Videobar VB1 is mounted next to a flat screen on a support cart that offers great flexibility. The Kaptivo camera is located at the front to capture the image of the white board, and the Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub device sits on the teacher’s desk for easy operation.
This configuration responds to the demands of having a clean installation, without multiple cables and connections that could become possible points of failure, as well as an agile and intuitive operation.
As of August 2022, Tecnomove, with the support of the distribution company MMT, had installed more than 100 units of the Bose Videobar VB1 in different classrooms, rooms and small auditoriums in the different faculties and institutes.
The concept of hybrid classrooms seeks to make teachers feel comfortable once again teaching their classes, and this includes being able to move freely while speaking. The technology of six microphones with beam direction and the configuration of capture zones of the Videobar VB1 solves this need, since the teacher’s voice is captured with great clarity no matter how he moves from one side to another across the front of the classroom.
The audio quality of the Bose Videobar VB1 speakers helps make the voice of remote students intelligible so that both the teacher and the classmates present in the classroom can hear clearly. This intelligibility is essential when it is the teachers who teach their class remotely, since without clear audio it would be impossible to maintain the attention of the students.
For remote students, it’s important to see the teacher’s movements, both moving around the front of the room and gesticulating their arms and hands. The VB1’s 4K Ultra HD camera has an auto framing feature that makes it easy to set the image wide open for a full body view of the teacher or zoom in for a medium shot.
Thanks to these functions, students who take the class remotely have a much closer experience to what happens inside the classroom and have the feeling of actively participating with their classmates and teachers.
Ready to go back to school from anywhere
Like the rest of the hybrid classrooms, the more than 100 classrooms that have the advanced solution with Bose, Lenovo and Kaptivo technologies have delivered positive results during the first months of its implementation.
Riquelme Zornow highlights the ease and agility with which the teachers start their classes without complications of any kind. In addition, the audio and video quality with which the classes are transmitted is ideal for recording them and creating a library for students to consult on demand.
The University of Chile considers this project as part of its academic strategy for the future. For example, the use of hybrid classrooms in postgraduate courses is being evaluated in order to broaden the scope and incorporate students from other cities in Chile and have guest professors from other universities.
“Collaborating with the University of Chile represents a great privilege because the impact of these solutions goes beyond technology, we know that in some way we are contributing to the education of the youth of our country,” says Carol Noches, Sales Manager of Technomove.
“I am very satisfied with the progress we have in the project, I feel very calm with what we have achieved. Classes flow and the hybrid experience is very similar to what teachers and students want. I have the opportunity to visit each faculty and learn about the needs of the users, so I realize that we are meeting the expectations of the university in terms of the scope of the solution, the delivery time, and the allocated budget,” he concludes. Riquelme Zornow.