Mount St. Mary's College is an independent, Catholic, liberal arts college which provides a values-based undergraduate education for women, as well as innovative programs for professional men and women on two historic campuses in Los Angeles, California. Established in 1925, the College aims to train future female leaders committed to public service on a global level. The College also prides itself on the diversity of its student body and faculty, which includes a wide variety of religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. In 2010, Mount St. Mary's College was presented with the opportunity to upgrade 60 classrooms for the intellectual and technological demands of the 21st century.
To improve the current teaching environment and prepare the College for future technological upgrades, Eric Kieselhorst, Director of Media Services and Stephanie Glick, former Academic Technology Director, began the assessment of all classroom technology aspects. It was important for the College to ensure that the pedagogic, academic and technological needs of the students and faculty were considered and included in the plan to update the classrooms.
Seeking and Finding: Easy to Use, Height Adjustable Lectern In a teaching lectern the faculty wanted something that was height adjustable and had a small footprint. Pedagogically it was important that control of the classroom technology devices (e.g. projector, document camera, etc.) be accessible to the faculty member on the lectern so as not to break eye contact with the students. Prior to the new solution, faculty would turn to the wall and press buttons to control the technology. An integral part of the solution for Mount St. Mary’s College was found in the TecPodium Presenter Lectern from Tecom Electronics. It is economical, height adjustable, sturdy, sleek and sexy.
The TecPodium Presenter is an all-in-one, compact and clean-looking smart lectern solution. It has an interactive pen display and coupled with the classroom computer housed in its base, allows direct on-screen annotation of classroom materials. "After numerous surveys, interviews and discussions with faculty as to how technology could best serve their pedagogical needs in the classroom, we arrived at the conclusion that the TecPodium Presenter Lectern would meet the entire qualities faculty required" says Eric. "Due to its sleek design, ease-of-use interface and the most practical ADA compliant height-adjustable lift in the industry, the Presenter has done wonders for faculty in the classroom”.
Aviv Brosilovski, Tecom CEO noted: “Tecom has been basing its products design on faculty feedback to ensure that it meets their needs while providing high performance, durability and cost effective solution higher-education institutions demand. Tecom solid reputation with worldwide installations in educational, corporate and government settings contributed to the level of confidence the College was looking for. We were glad to be part of this project and to work closely with the College, the AV system integrator and, of course, our REP firm in the territory.”
Swift Deployment of “Pod Rooms”
Tecom partnered with CCS Presentation Systems to sell and install 60 TecPodium Presenters to Mount St. Mary’s College over a three year period. During this time Presenters were installed in classrooms on both of the College’s campuses.
Eric and the College team worked with Tecom to customize the lectern to meet all of the needs. A software platform was installed on the computers that enables faculty to control the technology directly from the Presenter interactive monitor. To ensure that the technology worked seamless and was transparent, all control panels were removed from the walls and unnecessary controls were removed from the lectern. Thus alleviating any faculty confusion as to how to control the technology. After the first rooms were complete the faculty vied to be able to teach in the new “Pod Rooms”. The faculty and students are satisfied with the solution.
Mount St. Mary's College use the Presenter as the hub of their A/V system where instructors use a control dashboard GUI run by a software control platform to power on the displays in the room, route the desired sources, control microphone and program volume and even record the class to a capture device if needed. The lecturer now has everything under his fingertips in the lectern. "The TecPodium Presenter secures the workstation, monitor and cables from potential alterations or damage, thereby limiting the number of Help Desk calls we receive and the days when a search in each classroom for projector remotes, workstations, and USB drives are over" states Eric.
The Result: Happy Tech Staff, Happy Instructors The installation process was very smooth and the TecPodium Presenter has become the College’s standard for classroom instruction. "The instructors quickly became accustomed to the TecPodium Presenter as their control center and teaching station. The College has been very satisfied with the product and its benefits and has enjoyed the uniformity that comes with a classroom standard in terms of staff support and understanding of the systems since they are all very similar" notes Henry Barnston, CCS Sales Representative. Whereas the original installation plan was for 60 Presenters over three years, more than 70 units have successfully been installed with plans to equip each classroom on both campuses with its own Presenter.
In Conclusion Eric Kieselhorst, Director of Media Services, states:
"With the Presenter, technology is no longer an impediment to teaching. It is transparent. Faculty are able to walk into a classroom with little or no training and immediately begin to do what they do best - Teach.
We are now in the final phase of classroom upgrade project and Tecom's TecPodium Presenter is now an integral part of each classroom. Without the Presenter, the classroom upgrades simply would not have been as successful. I highly recommend the product".
About Tecom Electronics
Tecom Electronics is a dynamic company continuously developing and evolving their products to provide the simplest yet most technologically advanced solution to managing Audio Visual equipment in training and educational facilities. Tecom replaces generic podiums in the classroom and boardroom with a more interactive and easy to use technological experience. www.tecpodium.com