In the not-so-distant past, AV systems and associated technology within education establishments were seen as something that inhibited the academic’s ability to teach, and a student’s ability to learn. Cumbersome microphones, poor audio quality and complicated setups further aggravated the issues and led to frustration for academics and students alike.
‘Invisible tech’ was required to create systems that would work effortlessly with the minimum amount of user interaction – meaning more time teaching and less time waiting.
The shift to these new technologies was already happening pre-Covid, with various educational facilities taking the decision to upgrade to new systems, empowering faculties to focus on teaching while the students could focus on learning.
Technological advancements also meant that there was now a portfolio of products available to suit different requirements and budgets, but all with the same goal – to create the best learning environment possible. Out of this technology, the ability to implement Voice Lift systems – where the sound remains natural and clear from near to far-end participants – has been one of the biggest successes within the education sector.
One such example is the new £40 million Computer Science, Informatics, Business and Management Studies building located at the University of Bedfordshire. With over 14,000 students, 6000m2 and situated over four storeys, a cutting-edge system consisting of Shure’s Microflex Advance MXA910 IntelliMix DSP Celling Array Microphone platform, along with QLX-D Digital Wireless systems was put in place. This provided academics with the freedom to teach without restriction, offering a natural unobtrusive sound and the ability to use Voice Lift across the system throughout the building.
Hybrid learning is also on the rise. The challenge with this implementation is to keep audio clarity clear and concise for the student in the physical classroom environment, as well as the student engaging remotely.
The University of Southern California (USC) achieved this by reimagining 300 rooms, designing the perfect system – comprising Microflex Advance MXA710 Linear Array Microphone and IntelliMix Room software-based audio processing – which delivered scalable audio that could be managed remotely, with simple configuration.
Instead of keeping a computer in each room, a Crestron Flex UC runs IntelliMix Room with the Zoom platform on it, turning the entire USC classroom and central core into a Dante node. Students in the classroom and dialling in remotely both benefit from hearing lectures within the best audio environment possible, along with the ability for lectures to be ‘captured’ for reference.
Shure’s new SLX-D Digital Wireless System has also had an immediate impact on the education sector and individual facilities looking for a cost-effective, scalable solution with rock solid RF performance, easy setup and versatile wireless configuration. The SLX-D wireless capabilities offer faculties the freedom to move around the learning environment without sacrificing any audio quality, along with hybrid, distance and asynchronous implementation to help with student engagement. Remote learning and lecture capture is still catered for within the system, which also boasts a user friendly, intuitive platform and microphone which benefits from an 11 hour battery life.
Whatever system requirement is needed, Shure’s award-winning Ecosystem of product – from microphone, DSP to loudspeaker – has it covered, creating the best possible learning environment to help the students of today become the academics of tomorrow.