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Florida classrooms upgrade with Valens & Logitech

First phase of installations in fourth largest US school district as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund

Valens Semiconductor, provider of high-speed connectivity solutions for the AV and automotive markets, has announced that its products are being installed in classrooms in the largest public county school district in Florida as part of an awarded Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funded Conference Cameras initiative – a continuation of the chipmaker’s ongoing collaboration with Logitech.

The county, the United States’ fourth largest school district with over 330,000 students, selected Valens Semiconductor’s products for AV, USB and power extension, which are ideal for both new and retrofitted spaces, presenting easy-to-install and cost-effective solutions. This project is part of the county’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, which includes an investment initiative to prepare for and avoid future closures of schools from kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) and enable improved student achievements.

The purpose of the ESSER funds provided to State educational agencies (SEAs) and school districts is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the United States. A growing number of schools and universities worldwide are upgrading their infrastructure to enable more advanced in-classroom, remote and hybrid learning and elevate teaching methodologies. In the U.S., this trend is supported by the fact that the Federal government recognises the important role technology will play in keeping schools operating most effectively and enabling students’ ongoing studies, even under scenarios that would have previously put schooling on hold, including extreme circumstances such as severe weather and pandemic outbreaks.

The county’s School Board and District Administration realised that interrupted learning significantly impacted students across the nation, including those in their district. They surveyed nearly 30,000 students, employees, families, and other community members of the school district, to determine what were their most urgent needs, in order to allocate the ESSER funds received. Survey respondents identified initiatives that would help accelerate student learning, promote equity and help close the achievement gap. The data was analysed to conclude what the research determined was most impactful and the district decided to invest heavily in those strategies that will make the biggest difference and provide long-term sustainability.

With advanced extension technology like Valens Semiconductor’s and Logitech’s video conferencing solutions, teachers and students can now efficiently teach and learn regardless of their physical location, opening up possibilities to boosting knowledge, retention and achievement at all locations.

Florida’s largest public school district’s schools and teachers can now provide learning experience to a much broader audience,” said Sudeep Trivedi, head of alliances and go-to-market at Logitech. “Logitech’s superb camera technology, coupled with Valens Semiconductor’s extension solution are empowering schools like those in Florida and other educational institutions in eliminating gender disparities, increasing access, and ensuring continuous and equitable education. We believe that there is great potential for this type of collaboration between Logitech and Valens Semiconductor in K-12, academic institutions and corporations.”

Gabi Shriki, SVP, head of audio-video business at Valens Semiconductor, added: “We are excited to partner with Logitech and support Florida’s largest public schools district in this important initiative that will enable remote and hybrid learning. The use of our technology can help schools better cope with rising student-teacher ratios. Videoconferencing applications using advanced technologies continue to expand in hybrid and remote settings in education systems and corporates worldwide, thereby presenting a long-term opportunity for Valens Semiconductor to further enhance its business in these large market segments. This is also a good example of how we leverage the same core technology across multiple segments in audio-video and in automotive.”

Valens Semiconductor’s HDBaseT connectivity technology is optimal for linking up the growing number of devices being deployed in classroom and conference room setups – including multiple displays, cameras, interactive whiteboards, microphones, and speakers. This proliferation of devices makes the convergence and distribution of high-quality multimedia critical for an efficient installation and ultimately for the users, teachers, and students.