Extron NAV Makes AV Content Available Throughout James D. Gossett Elementary School
Progressing into the 2023 ‘Summer Slam’ summer school session, teachers, administrators, and the IT maintenance team all expressed complete satisfaction with their AV system.
James D. Gossett Elementary School in Rankin, Texas, serves approximately 150 students in grades Pre-K to 5 with a staff of about 30. Fall 2022 marked a major event for students and staff members: they moved into a brand new, state‑of‑the‑art 69,080 square foot building. Their new surroundings feature colors and designs that stimulate the learning environment for elementary age students. A large atrium doubles as an informal gathering area and a learning space.
AV technology connects multimedia throughout the building for teaching in the classrooms, for collaborating in meeting rooms, and for routine or emergency digital signage in hallways and reception areas. Extron products play a key role in making that AV technology work for the benefit of everyone teaching and learning in this bright new building.
Pro AV integrator Elite Solutions, Inc. of San Angelo, Texas, designed, installed, and commissioned Gossett Elementary’s AV systems in partnership with Extron, CADCO Architects-Engineers, and BTC Construction. The goal was to have multimedia content everywhere in the James D. Gossett Elementary School building. Additionally, the new school building was to be designed for flexibility, scalability, and extensibility. They selected the Extron NAV® Pro AV over IP system so that any AV source could be routed to any display over a dedicated 1 Gbps IP network that included Dante audio.
The IP network consists of nine 1 Gbps IP switches located in the central telecommunications equipment room. There are more than 650 CAT 6A Ethernet drops. NAV Pro AV over IP encoders at each video source provide high-quality, ultra-low latency video, HDMI audio, and AES67 audio while NAV Scaling Decoders behind each display provide high quality video scaled to the capabilities of that display. Currently, there are 135 NAV endpoints at the school with plenty of room for expansion. Extron DMP 128 Plus audio DSP processors receive network audio from the NAV endpoints via AES67. The NAVigator System Manager configures, manages, and controls the NAV endpoints and is fully integrated with the Extron Pro Series control system. Easy to use Extron touchpanels throughout the facility work with control processors and the NAVigator to control all functions of the AV system. At Gossett Elementary, AV-enabled multimedia content helps people teach, learn, collaborate, and stay informed. Let’s take a tour to learn how it’s done.
On the desk is a PC workstation from which the principal originates video and audio content. A TouchLink® Pro touchpanel on the desk allows the principal to choose where AV content is routed. The office also includes a flat panel display with a camera-speaker bar. Using this equipment, the principal can attend videoconference meetings and broadcast to students and staff located in any AV-enabled venue – from a single classroom to the whole school. The Principal’s AV system control touchpanel is mirrored in the administration office, and also mirrored wirelessly over Wi-Fi to an iPad running the Extron Control app, allowing AV system control from both of these offices, or on-the-go from anywhere in the building.
The larger of two conference rooms is directly adjacent to the principal’s office on the first floor. A smaller conference room serves the second floor. The AV systems in these rooms are identical, except that the larger room has a 65" flat panel display, and the smaller room has a 55" display.
Both rooms include a videoconferencing camera-speaker bar with an associated PC for videoconference meetings. A Cable Cubby® built into the conference table houses retractable HDMI and USB-C cables and AC power outlets where meeting attendees can connect their laptops to share AV content to the in-room screen and to the conferencing application. A TouchLink Pro touchpanel recessed into the conference table controls the AV system.
The classrooms, of course, are the heart and soul of any school. At Gossett Elementary, all 22 classrooms include a 65" interactive touchpanel display at the front of the room, accompanied by a videoconferencing camera-speaker bar with an associated PC. The interactive touchpanel can display videoconferencing content or lesson content. Lesson content typically originates from within the classroom from the teacher’s workstation or from a device plugged into the HDMI jack on a wall-mounted NAV encoder. The AV over IP network configuration and connection rules built into the Extron Pro Series control system ensure that content originating in any given classroom stays in that classroom for display on the room’s 65" touchpanel screen. But the flexibility of the AV over IP network allows any administrator AV source, such as the principal’s office, to be shown in the classrooms for school-wide broadcasts.
Teachers control AV content routing and other local AV system functions within their own classrooms from wall mounted TouchLink Pro touchpanels. The intuitive GUI displayed on the touchpanels is teacher-friendly, so instructors can concentrate on teaching their students rather than figuring out how to use the AV system.
AV System Control
TouchLink Pro touchpanels with custom-designed operator interface GUIs are installed in each AV-enabled venue, allowing users to control the AV system locally in each room. This is accomplished through two IPCP Pro 250 control processors in the principal’s office and the first-floor conference room. An IPCP Pro 360Q xi control processor located in the Telecommunications Room AV rack is used as an auxiliary controller spanning the entire facility to provide administrative control over AV system functions not covered by the two local control processors. A NAVigator Pro AV over IP system manager, also in the Telecom Room AV rack, is used for initial setup, maintenance, control, and updates to the NAV Pro AV over IP system. Rounding out the control system, Rankin ISD’s AV support personnel use Extron GlobalViewer® Enterprise to monitor and control the AV systems remotely from the central help desk located at district headquarters in nearby Rankin High School, allowing timely preventive maintenance and rapid response to faculty and staff help requests.
A 9' high by 16' wide curved videowall comprised of a 4x4 array of direct-view micro-LED tiles is clearly visible from both floors of the two-story atrium and is supported by 16 NAV scaling decoders with Extron WindoWall® technology, enabling a mix of full screen and image magnification across multiple displays. A wallplate NAV encoder with an HDMI input is installed near the videowall, making it easy to connect local AV sources for display on the videowall. A TouchLink Pro touchpanel on the wall next to this encoder provides a convenient control point where users can select the AV content to be shown on the videowall. Like all other displays in the building, the videowall can display content from any source feeding into the AV over IP network.
Public Area Digital Signage
In addition to the videowall, digital signage displays are spread throughout the building, including a 75" flat panel display in the reception lobby, a 98" flat panel in the main first floor corridor, and ten 43" flat panels in the hallways, each with a NAV scaling decoder. There are six AV content sources dedicated to feeding messaging to the digital signage displays. Five of these are SMD 202 streaming media players which store specialized messaging: a looping message with current school event information; a shelter-in-place notification; an evacuation notification; and two reserved for future use. A ShareLink® Pro 1100 presentation system allows content to be displayed wirelessly via password-protected Wi-Fi access from portable devices. Wireless content is used primarily for the atrium videowall. Each source connects to a NAV encoder for distribution and switching across the AV network.
Library Reading Zone Audio Optimized for Large Spaces
The library reading zone is open to the atrium and hosts student assemblies, which can get noisy. Dante-networked DMP Plus audio DSP processors select and mix audio from wireless mics, from the NAV AES67 audio over IP or Dante networks, or from in-room audio jacks and Bluetooth receivers. The DMP 128 Plus tailors gain, equalization, and echo cancellation to optimize intelligibility. Powerful amplifiers drive surface-mounted speakers for sound that can be heard over audience noise.
AV over IP is the perfect solution for K-12 schools. Extron NAV enables us to deploy AV over IP with the quality and technical support Extron is known for.
The technology savvy teachers (and kids) quickly picked-up the new AV tools in their new school for traditional teaching and imaginative new applications. In one case, a teacher familiarized 3rd graders with the concept of elapsed time, employing the classroom AV system to have kids make “movies” with on-screen movie-style clap boards that show elapsed time for each “take.”
In another case, 5th graders created a computer program that codes the treads on the atrium stairway into musical notes and pipes the resulting songs into the atrium AV sound system as kids hop on pressure switches placed on the stair treads. You can view these and other educational uses of Gossett Elementary’s AV systems on the Rankin ISD Facebook page, specifically Here and Here. Progressing into the 2023 “Summer Slam” summer school session and beyond, teachers, administrators, and the IT maintenance team all expressed complete satisfaction with their AV system — powered by Extron NAV Pro AV over IP.
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