As part of a continued improved plan for Richmond Upon Thames College, work on a new campus building was due for completion in Spring 2020.
Designed to enhance existing teaching practices, the new facility provided a technology-rich environment to enable an agile working culture within the teaching faculty and modernise learning practices.
James McRae, Head of Learning Technologies wanted to improve the student experience by accelerating the BYOD strategy within the College, working alongside the College’s IT Support team as they delivered a campuswide Wi-Fi infrastructure upgrade initiative.
“The project goals were to challenge the way teaching happened at the College through the adoption of technology, our existing building was no longer able to meet the demands of a modern learning environment, and with the new build, we had the opportunity to provide a more engaging learning experience for everyone”
James goes on, “We had a ‘USB approach’ when it came to lesson delivery at the College, with teachers transferring resources from one device to another in a very time intensive way. This approach created a passive learning environment for our students, who were expecting more online learning opportunities and integration with platforms such as Microsoft O365.”
The College wanted to transform classroom learning by implementing a solution that enabled an immersive learning space for students and teachers and facilitated a more interactive approach for all. The goal was to upgrade teaching spaces with interactive display solutions equipped with wireless sharing capabilities and integrated into the College’s Office 365 platform.
“One of our key drivers for the technology upgrade project was to extend the Microsoft Teams and Notebook experience from personal devices into a group collaboration setting. We wanted to create a more productive, real-time environment for lesson delivery, one where teachers and students could contribute to a digital canvas that would then be available in the cloud as a library of content for students to refer back to. We needed to deploy technology that enabled this to happen.”
Avocor solutions emerged as the clear favourite following an in-depth review process, meeting the College’s technical specification requirements, including built-in gesturing and high-definition image quality.
“Ultimately, we all loved the fact that the Avocor solution provided an intuitive experience; it replicated the experience of a giant iPad which we knew would accelerate adoption across the teaching staff.”
The new building was ready to be deployed in March 2020, with 66 newly furnished classrooms containing an Avocor E series interactive display and peripheral UC accessories, as COVID-19 swept across the UK and learning was delivered remotely.
McRae explains, “During the start of the pandemic, we needed to implement remote learning practices rapidly, and the Avocor solution helped us to enable these. Teachers utilised the Avocor display for lesson content, and the laptop or smaller display device was used to view the student grid. Teachers can then deliver seamless lessons without having to keep switching content sources.”
Despite the challenges of the last 12 months, James remains delighted with how the Avocor solutions perform as part of the overarching learning ecosystem within the College.
“The classroom displays have become an essential part of how we deliver more engaging lesson content and enable our teaching staff and students to be more productive. They have helped us weather the storm during the pandemic and continue to provide the excellent education we are renowned for.”