A Collaborative Classroom at the King’s Academy library

The idea behind “the Cube,” a glass-enclosed conference and collaboration center in the King’s Academy library, is to give students, faculty and staff a place where they can meet and work together on any kind of class or school-related project.

The focal point is a 135” diagonal Promethean ActivWall interactive whiteboard with laser projector. The ActivWall is both an electronic whiteboard, which users can write on with “digital ink” produced with a marker-like stylus, and a multimedia projector with the ability to mark up, save, and print on-screen images. It’s a control device as well, giving users the ability to connect wirelessly to their laptops, phones and tablets, then control the device, launch presentations from it and save drawings, text and markups.

In addition to installing the ActivWall, Think Simple included a video conferencing system based on Skype for Business and a sound system optimized for conferencing and local voice and program audio. Rob Danley, Chief Technology Officer for the school, says teachers use video conferencing mainly to bring in guest speakers, but TKA participates in a program that links the Cube to a classroom in a sister school overseas.

“We tried to include everything that a teacher, administrator, student or community member might need for a class or meeting, whether confined to the room or involving people at remote locations,” says Will Gilbert, partner at Think Simple.

Best of all, the Cube is very simple to operate. TKA has Promethean whiteboards in many of its classrooms, so staff and students are all very familiar with their operation. For other functions, Think Simple included a Crestron control system with an intuitive iPad interface. Crestron DigitalMedia ensures that students see and hear all media at the highest possible quality.

The Cube’s main components include:

  • Crestron 3-Series® DigitalMedia™ Presentation System 200
  • Sennheiser wireless lavaliere and handheld microphones
  • Crestron Saros® in-ceiling speakers
  • Promethean ActivWall with 135” whiteboard and laser projector
  • Built-in PC with Skype for Business
  • Logitech HD camera
  • Blu-ray player
  • Apple TV
  • Crestron input plate for laptops and other devices
  • Wireless (WiDi and Miracast) inputs for tablets, laptops and mobile phones

Furniture is extremely flexible, and users can move padded chairs, couches and tables and chairs in and out of the Cube as needed.

This flexibility, combined with the powerful technology makes it the perfect place for an informal meeting, a collaborative class project, or an intense discussion.

“It’s a wonderful space,” says Danley. “The technology was very well done and has proven very useful.”

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