Intuitive, Flexible Technology Safe Guarding the Return to Campus
Following months of uncertainty, universities and colleges are preparing to reopen their doors to students in just a matter of weeks. However, this year, institutions aren’t simply looking to find new and engaging ways to kickstart the school year and build excitement as they welcome new and returning students. Navigating what the “new normal” will look like on higher education campuses, the new focus targets safely facilitating quality, in-person teaching and learning without risking the health of people on campus and the wider community.
While many uncertainties remain–including the big unknown of when the danger of the global pandemic might subside–diligent planning for faculty and students to return to campus is well underway. Major considerations are being made to transform learning spaces to be flexible and cater to the present conditions that unfortunately have no end in sight. That’s why institutions are making the investment in hybrid classroom technology and infrastructure now to be prepared for education in an uncertain future.
Right now, the priority is risk mitigation. Every institution is approaching the situation differently, decreasing the density of people on campus at any one time through smaller class sizes, alternating in-person class schedules or even a hybrid classroom consisting of a mix of online and face-to-face learning. The priority is to minimize contact and to stop the spread of COVID-19. And it’s not just environmental and operational changes that are being put in place to mitigate risk. Technology and unified communications for education are being designed and deployed to promote health and safety through innate user-experience, while continuing to fuel effective learning.
Crestron is reshaping how students learn in real-time and helping teachers and instructors achieve learning objectives with intuitive and flexible technology that is sensor-driven and highly accessible. Touchless rooms via Crestron’s AirMedia 2 solution meet the needs of today’s reality, with low-touch or no-touch operations. AirMedia 2 offers connectivity through personal devices, meaning contact with shared surfaces is minimized. Coupled with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) occupancy sensor, communication and collaboration systems can be powered on and off as people occupy and vacate rooms as well as the more typical room control such as lighting and blinds being automated—removing the need to touch equipment and surfaces to operate the technology.
Crestron’s seamless blend of AV and unified communications technology will also support the flexibility of hybrid classroom and campus learning spaces that will need to adapt to varied class sizes, and socially distanced participants.
In this critical period of preparing for the return to campus, success will be based on those institutions able to adapt rapidly and learn readily to meet the demands of an ever-changing day-to-day. Often in the face of uncertainty we turn to our instincts for guidance. Technology that runs instinctively can be a guide to navigating these uncertain waters. Adaptability, flexibility and assurance in education technology is going to help bring confidence to faculty and students and give them one less thing to worry about when returning to campus.