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CDEC installs wireless interactive displays at academy

Paddy Baker 13 January 2014

The new premises of Telford’s Phoenix Academy feature a state of the art AV system, which includes an interactive screen system throughout. Teachers’ devices are wirelessly connected through We Present to enable them to use technology seamlessly in the classroom environment.

Phoenix Academy principal Neil Stonehouse said: “Our vision for the AV system was to create something that would enable teachers to simply connect to the board from a device where they could access and share all their teaching resources. We worked closely with partners including CDEC and Telford and Wrekin Council to design something completely unique and I’m delighted with the results both for the teachers and the way this will improve learning experiences for pupils at the school.”

Integrator CDEC was chosen for its consultative approach, school-focused product specification and selection of manufacturer partners for the system.

Toni Barnett, managing director of CDEC, explained: “We were very tight on time with this installation as the new build school had a very short timeframe in which to be up and running in the new building. The system which is installed only became available and possible in the last six months so it is a cutting edge delivery, put in place by our technicians in just over two days. Sahara enabled us to integrate a WePresent solution into the touchcreens themselves to keep down the need for peripheral devices, the first time they have ever done that.”

The system features 53 Sahara Clevertouch screens, specified in 42in, 55in and 65in sizes to suit the learning spaces to ensure teachers and pupils can use the screen interactively connected wirelessly through inbuilt WeConnect modules to each teacher’s Toshiba Z10T Laptops. The devices can act as a laptop or a detachable tablet, allowing teachers to work from anywhere in the classroom and hand control of the board to any pupil at their desk.

Each classroom uses the tablet in place of visualisers and peripheral equipment – being able to connect to all types of content including videos, presentations, bespoke applications, websites, Word documents and live TV to bring lessons to life. The cookery class features an external web-cam which records the teacher’s cooking and relays it through WePresent to a big screen at the front of the class so they whole class can see every technique clearly. Each screen has its own individual IP address which helps the teacher to log in immediately to start a lesson.

Supported by Sport England the Rugby League Association, the school is a centre of excellence for sports education. The changing rooms are no exception as a hub of technology with an interactive screen in place for teachers to show sports teams in action before the children try them out themselves.

Tim Rocke, schools ICT commissioner for Telford and Wrekin Council, explained: “This system is innovative in its ease of use for teachers, offering speed and simplicity of connection to the interactive screen. CDEC brought a partnership approach to use, working with us to find solutions that weren’t off the shelf but achieved what we wanted. The vision was translated into a technical solution which works really well. We Present offers a seamless connection between the tablet and screen.”

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