Illinois district chooses Konftel video conferencing system for hybrid learning classrooms


Distance learning

Illinois District Selects Konftel Video Conferencing System For Hybrid Learning Classrooms

As U.S. school districts face continued uncertainty amid waves of epidemics and new variations, blended learning has continued to evolve, as has the variety of tools and methods available to educators.

Like most districts plunged into the midst of technological challenges during the pandemic, Joliet Township High School School District 204 struggled to find the right equipment for hybrid classrooms and blended learning that wouldn’t require much training. ‘complicated equipment or networking skills – and he had to be flexible in case the pandemic required another sudden switch to all-remote.

The methods that teachers in the township of Joliet tried in the first months of the pandemic were not feasible in the long term, said Wendy Davis, network and media manager for the district. “The sound was a big part of the challenge,” Davis said. “And teachers said the microphones and cameras built into their laptops weren’t enough. “

At the end of 2020, the district – which serves more than 6,000 students, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago – appointed a technology committee to test five different classroom broadcasting systems; In early 2021, three systems were “tested” in a few classrooms.

The district announced in April that it had chosen a winner: the Konftel C2055Wx video conferencing system, which has three components: a Konftel Cam20 USB conference camera capable of 4K resolution; a Konftel 55Wx conference phone with OmniSound HD audio technology and USB / Bluetooth connectivity for maximum flexibility; and Konftel’s OCC hub, which has three USB input ports and one output port, so that the connection of the camera, conference phone and other USB device to the laptop computer The teacher only requires one cable connection.

Teachers who participated in the district trial praised the high quality of the Konftel camera and conference phone, according to a press release from the district. “I love the speaker. I can talk and move around the room and my students can hear me perfectly at home and in the classroom, ”said one teacher.

Prior to the purchase of the new equipment, the Township of Joliet operated the same way as many hybrid setups in schools across the country: with students in class hooking up to a video stream and using headphones to hear their classmates from across the country. remote class.

But the new Konftel system eliminates the need for classroom students to operate through a streaming portal. “I like that when students in class respond to those at home, they can hear them through the speaker, so they don’t even have to log into Zoom – which gives me the opportunity to to give my students in person a more “normal” school experience, “reported another teacher, according to the press release.

When the fall semester 2021 began, the township of Joliet had 375 of the Konftel systems installed and ready to go – enough for each classroom in the two high schools in the district, as well as spare parts for the shared spaces, field trips, etc. The systems sell for between $ 750 and $ 850 each, depending on the vendor.

In addition to the high quality sound and the ease of installation, the district said that a major factor in their choice was that the Konftel system does not require its own software or driver; it works with any collaboration software the teacher is already using.

Students in Juliet Township High School District 204 use the Konftel C2055Wx videoconferencing system for blended learning.

The district of Joliet Township allows its teachers to choose the software that is best for them for online collaboration, whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom. “The Konftel solution is plug-and-play, so all a class has to do is launch their favorite collaboration platform and they’re ready to learn – no additional software is required,” noted the district.

It also works with a variety of USB peripheral equipment.

“Depending on what you teach, you can have unique material,” Davis said. “We have math teachers who use Wacom tablets and we have microscopes that use USB. In addition, there is always the desire to perpetuate a system, because we never know what technology will enter the classroom next.

Find more information about the Konftel C2055Wx on Konftel.com.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor-in-chief of 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

About Shirley L. Kreger

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