To accommodate the changing needs of its digitally mobile student body, Caldwell University installed approximately 35 Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems and more than 30 Sharp displays and monitors across its campus. The interactive displays have greatly enhanced collaboration among the students and faculty.
Business Environment Challenges
Located in the picturesque town of Caldwell, NJ, Caldwell University offers a stunning campus setting and a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees to its approximately 2,200 full-time, part-time and graduate students. Fully qualified faculty members, small class sizes and small student/faculty ratio contribute to its reputation as an institution that provides close, personal attention to its students.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the passage of a state bond referendum made it possible for the university to not only improve its network security and access, improve Wi-Fi access and add features such as new charging stations all over its campus, but it also allowed the university to make some improvements to its teaching and presentation technologies.
At the time, the university was still using old screen projector technology, which needed about 15 minutes of prep time whenever a presentation was planned. Additionally, classrooms were equipped with regular blackboards that didn’t take into account the changing needs of the digitally mobile student body.
Business Technology Solutions
The university installed approximately 35 Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems in strategic locations around the campus, such as the library, athletics department, board room, conference rooms, nursing departments and select classrooms, to increase collaboration in the classroom and among the students and faculty. To accommodate ad hoc and temporary use, a number of AQUOS BOARD displays are kept mobile and wheeled to different areas on campus as needed. These LED-LCD interactive displays provide brilliant color images, touch screen convenience and Wi-Fi connectivity. Additionally, more than 30 Sharp professional displays and monitors are being used as digital signage across the campus
Recently, the university unveiled a 4,000-square-foot nursing skills laboratory, which includes a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory and a digitally-enhanced classroom. The lab is outfitted with high-fidelity educational training mannequins, a control room with tinted one-way glass and the capability to record video simulations. The 960-squarefoot lecture classroom includes a 60-inch (60.1” diagonal) central AQUOS BOARD display and six satellite monitors that provide a visually stimulating and aesthetic environment, particularly effective for the visual, auditory and kinesthetic learner.
Interactive display systems are now being used in all parts of the campus and are quickly replacing traditional blackboards, whiteboards, projectors and flip charts. “The AQUOS BOARD displays are dramatically improving our educational experience and business productivity on campus,” says Don O’Hagan, Chief Information Officer, Caldwell University. “The new nursing lab has enhanced the university’s nursing program, and this is evidenced by strong interest and enrollment in the program.”
The Athletics Department uses the AQUOS BOARD displays to get an edge on the competition. The coaches use them to show video to their teams and to highlight key plays, using the technology to break down video and get a closer look at the opposing teams. The department is also using the displays to show traditional X and O-style strategy.
“We think of the displays as providing us with a competitive advantage over our league opponents,” says Mark Corino, head men’s basketball coach and assistant vice president and director of athletics.
The AQUOS BOARD displays have also allowed the boardroom above the athletic facility to be used as a tailgating area during game time. A large AQUOS BOARD display is simply wheeled into the room and the game is streamed directly onto it
O’Hagan says that on any given day the IT department might receive 20 to 30 requests to turn on the displays. And while many of the AQUOS BOARD displays are dedicated to specific locations, a supplemental few are kept on wheels so they can be rolled from place to place.
“Implementing the AQUOS BOARD displays has been an exciting project because of their impact on everyone across campus,” says O’Hagan. “From the President’s Board Room to the classroom, the conference room, the athletic teams and facilities and even to the university’s distance learning centers, there isn’t a student, faculty or staff member who doesn’t have a fingerprint, literally, on these boards.”
Because of the touch screen and interactivity inherent in the AQUOS BOARD display, the students have completely embraced the technology as well.
“The boards are really helpful for group projects, group studying, anything where a group is involved because you don’t have to crowd around one little screen,” says Kristin Kelley, Class of 2016, Caldwell University. “One big board allows people to interact on the touch screen, through individual iPads and other personal devices.”
“Students using the boards visit their own websites on their own devices and discuss and create documents accessible to all,” says Business Division Professor Virginia Rich. “We can save and share this information. It makes an active learning experience truly part of the lesson plan and provides a valuable takeaway.”
To watch the Caldwell University video, visit the Sharp Education vertical market page at http://siica.sharpusa.com/Vertical-Markets/Education