Thanks to Zoom Rooms and Salamander Designs furniture, the Howe Public School district in Howe, Okla. were able to bring all students together during the COVID-19 pandemic and the district’s hybrid learning strategy.
The school district and Lance Ford, a faculty member and Zoom Room educator, helped design and deploy “superpowered” learning systems using Zoom, Zoom Rooms and tech-enabled furniture from Connecticut-based Salamander Designs.
According to Ford, teachers can struggle with hybrid learning because it is difficult to be seen and heard by remote students, and vice versa. The solution was to combine a Zoom Room device, a screen and a Salamander mobile cart for learning.
“The beauty of this solution is that our own students can physically relocate the system,” Ford said. “This is happening right now in my high school classes. Even when I’m not there, students are moving this self-contained system to where they need it, plugging it in, and everyone is showing and sharing in an instant!”
Live instruction in classrooms often requires large group gatherings where all students may get initial information, followed by individual breakout sessions. While this sounds great, it presents a challenge for educators now that learners are in separate locations. By using a slick combination of large screens on new, thin Salamander Strut Walls cameras, mics and other branded mobile tables, classrooms can be reconfigured in literally minutes.
Zoom Rooms can even build an “acoustic fence” around small groups so that remote students only hear the mics of the group they are working with and don’t hear distracting chatter from other groups in the room. This helps keep remote students involved and engaged.
Salamander furniture also features electric lift for screens and low wall construction. All wiring is hidden to prevent issues, while power setups allow for instant connection to computers and other devices as needed.
“This ebb and flow solution helps engagement, as everyone can move around, sit, stand and even work together at small huddle stations where they can lay their work out and interact with someone on the large display as if they were in the room together,” Ford says.
The setup features multiple cameras and large screens on a dual cabinet from Salamander that allow students offsite to see the classroom, teacher and an annotation white board. In addition, the teacher and students can also see remote learners on one of the monitors while content is shared on another.
“This setup is so, so powerful,” Ford says. “Verbal and nonverbal feedback is most easily shared. Presenters and students alike can view all participants—and that creates the feeling that remote students are transported into the classroom and part of all the interaction.”
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