To provide a fully remote learning environment for the fall 2020 semester to support faculty and students, Pepperdine University installed EduFLEX, a hybrid classroom technology solution inclusive of Panasonic’s AW-HE38H HD Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera. The private, Southern California University sought technology to move its classes online that would be simple, consistent and flexible to provide an engaging environment and accommodate any combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Together with ClearTech, Altadena, CA, one of the University’s preferred AV technology providers, Pepperdine deployed the hybrid IP-based solution with Panasonic’s PTZ cameras in 166 classrooms across its five Southern California campuses to support distance learning for its graduate and undergraduate community.
Professional video technology played a big part in the University’s solution to ensure its professors had the tools needed to teach online with their pedagogy, despite not having students physically in the classroom. Pepperdine’s faculty and students use the Zoom videoconferencing platform for virtual classrooms and hybrid online courses.
“We didn’t want our faculty to feel like they had to relearn the technology, depending on where they taught. We needed a solution that would be turnkey and completely location agnostic, so no matter where you’re teaching, you could walk into the room and it was going to feel the same as every other space,” said Jared Mukai, Ph.D., manager of AV technologies and special projects at Pepperdine.
“There were a lot of complexities we needed to work through on a very tight timeline to ensure we’d be ready to support our students and teachers with online class instruction by mid-August. We evaluated various scenarios but with the uncertainty of the new academic year, we knew we needed a solution that could support all types of learning environments,” said Mukai. “ClearTech’s EduFLEX solution with Panasonic’s PTZ cameras was the clear choice given its reliability, flexibility and versatility to transform distance learning environments into engaging teaching experiences.”
Christina DeBono, president, ClearTech, said, “Pepperdine required a remote learning solution they could count on not to fail as the deployment was mission critical to the university. Our EduFLEX solution with Panasonic’s PTZ camera delivers an in-person, campus-like experience remotely with simplicity and ease of operation.”
The Panasonic AW-HE38H PTZ camera within the EduFLEX system offers: HD video quality, precision 22X optical zoom to capture crisp close-ups, a wide viewing angle and pan/tilt range, PoE+ for easy installation and power supply via LAN cable, and USB and microSD card built-in recording.
In addition to using Panasonic PTZ cameras, Pepperdine has standardized on Panasonic projectors throughout its campuses to provide an invaluable tool to engage students visually and improve student participation and learning retention. The reliable, easy-to-install Panasonic PT-RZ570 1-chip projectors are used by the school in a large number of its classrooms, and the PT-RZ12K and PT-RZ21K 3-Chip DLP laser projectors have been installed in lecture halls like Elkins Auditorium.