5th Annual Pro AV Spotlight Awards Best Education AV Installation: Rialto School District, Rialto, Calif.
Jul 16, 2012 12:13 PM
AVI-SPL, Tampa, Fla.
Under a technology initiative spearheaded by Rialto school board trustee Joseph Martinez and Superintendent Dr. Phil Urabe, the district sought to replace 15- to 20-year-old systems with Cisco TelePresence and digital signs in their classrooms and across campuses. The goal was to enhance communications among the school district, students, and parents; build more awareness of various educational initiatives; and promptly address any emergency situations with immediate notifications. It was also designed to be an attractive and native learning environment for increasingly digitally savvy elementary school students.
“This type of technology is primarily implemented at a higher education or corporate level. By incorporating video and distance learning, Rialto wanted to bring the university feel to their schools,” says AVI-SPL’s Anthony Salveggi. “When you ask students what their concerns are and what they would like to learn and how, the newest technologies—including iPhones and iPads—are top of mind,” Martinez says. “Students wish to be proficient at their own speed, at their own learning curve, and with technology that’s available to them 24/7. To reach students these days, you really have to think outside the box.”
Overall, the project included Cisco Digital Signs in 72 classrooms, the district office, and a custom Cisco T3 TelePresence room. For digital signage applications, Martinez finds that the technology helps to distribute an unfiltered message from the principal, the board, and the superintendent to the public within an hour, and helps to improve the public perception of the education system at Rialto.
The custom T3 TelePresence solution uses Cisco’s Enterprise Content Delivery System (ECDS) set up. The ECDS is a media delivery system that helps organizations easily scale video and media delivery over their existing WAN infrastructure. Essentially, it moves content around to the different locations, working hand-in-hand with digital signage and Cisco’s webcasting and video sharing application, Show and Share.
Students at Rialto Middle School have already used the Cisco TelePresence technology for a social studies-based virtual field trip. In studying Chinese culture with the Confucius Institute in San Diego, Rialto students were able to interact with middle school students from San Diego, and high school students from El Cajon and Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles.
Rialto’s $2.7 million project was fast tracked over the course of 120 days as part of the RFP stipulation. AVI-SPL collaborated with the client and Cisco to make sure the deadlines were met.
“With the integration of this technology, retention and collaboration has increased because the students are able to learn in a medium that they interface with by choice all day long,” Martinez concludes.
Key equipment includes, Cisco custom T3 TelePresence, Cisco MXE engine, Cisco Digital Media Suite. Cisco Show and Share technology is used to view video presentations, instructional lessons, and other content. AVI-SPL also partnered with Industry Weapon to provide a solution that gives the faculty the ability to quickly create content for their signage, using widgets for time, weather, and RSS feeds.
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