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New Sciences Building at Winston-Salem State University is Brimming with Extron AV Teaching Technology

Spring 2021 saw Winston-Salem State University opening its New Sciences Building to students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, and health. The 102,095 square foot facility has 24 AV-equipped classrooms, study rooms, lecture halls, and maker spaces that support the school’s vision of creating open, interactive, flexible learning and collaboration spaces. AV design, installation, and commissioning were accomplished under a tight schedule by Winston-Salem-based pro AV integration firm ClarkPowell in coordination with WSSU Technology Support Analyst Chris Screen. All AV-enabled education spaces rely on Extron switching, distribution, and control designs ranging from a customized Extron PlenumVault configuration to more complex setups built around Extron matrix switchers. Users control the AV systems via a simple-to-operate touchpanel interface that is uniform from room to room.

Elaborating on the simplicity of the user interface, Chris Screen notes, “After we guided an initially apprehensive, technology-averse professor through the touchpanel interface a couple of times, she brightened and said, ‘this is as easy as my phone.’ She loves teaching in that room and tries to retain ‘squatter’s rights’ to the room. That’s how easy the AV controls are, the way we set it up with coding help from Clark Powell and Extron.”

Seventeen classrooms, labs, and study areas are equipped with PlenumVault digital classroom systems. Heavily attended classes are accommodated by six large classrooms, each with three displays. Mobile desks allow students to form ad hoc collaboration pods gathered around each display. AV content can be sourced from DTP wallplate transmitters with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. Students can wirelessly share content from their portable devices via three ShareLink Pro 1100s – one for each screen. Four of the large classrooms are equipped with DTP CrossPoint 84 4K matrix switchers that route sources to screens in response to selections at TLP Pro 1025M 10″ TouchLink Pro Touchpanels. The fifth and sixth large classrooms are divisible spaces with movable partitions and feature a DTP CrossPoint 108 4K matrix switcher. In the maker space, an HC 403 Meeting Space Collaboration System and ShareLink Pro 1100 support impromptu show-and-tell sessions. All rooms feature clear sound from Extron Flat Field speakers.

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