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Michigan's Oakland University Advances Interactive Education Facilities with Hitachi

Aug 16, 2006 12:07 PM

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As Michigan's Oakland University approaches its 50th anniversary in 2007, the sprawling 1,440-acre Rochester campus has invested heavily in technological advancements to secure its continued success for the next 50 years. To this end, the university has installed 28 Hitachi T-17SXL StarBoard LCD displays this summer in preparation for the fall 2006 semester. These T-17SXL units are the main addition of 28 new presentation workstations in classrooms and labs across the campus.

In the past four years, Oakland University has purchased and installed almost 100 Hitachi StarBoard units. This year's chosen presentation tool is a pen-driven 17in. LCD panel with SXGA resolution, which allows a presenter or teacher to directly face the classroom while having the screen's contents projected onto any size screen. The Hitachi T-17SXL features eight customizable function buttons, RGB output, and a pen with full mouse function capabilities.

"When we decided to upgrade the additional classrooms and labs with new workstations, we looked at several brands and models, ultimately deciding on the Hitachi T-17SXL because of its flexibility and design," explains George Preisinger, classroom support and instructional technical services department at Oakland University.

Hitachi T-17SXL software allows the capture of written notes on top of presentations in any format, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The software also allows conferencing of up to 50 StarBoard systems, providing valuable distance learning capabilities in today's continually evolving education environment.

"More and more, like all universities and colleges, we're finding the benefits of distance learning and web-based instruction," Preisinger says. "And even the more traditional 'attended' courses commonly feature a web-based supplement with quizzes and course notes online. It is a great benefit for our students to have the teacher's handwritten notes on top of the original documentation."

The eight hardware function buttons located along the top edge of the T-17SXL unit provide quick and easy access to the panel's most frequently used features—a design aspect quite appealing to Preisinger during the review process. "Having the controls at the top of the unit makes the presentation process easier for our teachers because they don't have to move paperwork out of the way or bend down to see the buttons clearly," he says. "The top-located buttons are not only clear, but also remain unobstructed during a presentation."

Classroom furniture provider Izzy Design partnered with the University to develop a workstation solution to house the presentation technology. The units have been test run in several rooms during the summer semester, which wraps up in mid-August. "The T-17SXL units have performed flawlessly thus far in setup and testing," Preisinger says. "We are looking forward to seeing them fully deployed this fall." Oakland University's fall semester kicks off on Aug. 30.

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