University of Connecticut Relies on Extron SMP 351 to Continue Teaching During a Pandemic — and Beyond
We strive for simplicity, standardization, and reliability. That’s one of the reasons that we use Extron for switching, distribution, and control. We select AV suppliers based on durability, functionality, and responsive technical support. Extron has always been awesome at all three.
The University of Connecticut - UConn is a public research university founded in 1881. Its 14 schools and colleges grant undergraduate degrees in 119 majors, graduate degrees in 88 research and professional practice fields, and six types of medical and law degrees. It is ranked as the best public national university in New England and among the top 25 public universities in the United States.
In the first semester of 2020, UConn was teaching over 30,000 students at its 4,400-acre Storrs campus, plus four regional campuses across Connecticut. When COVID-19 hit, the University adjusted quickly, with a mix of remote, hybrid, and in-person classes. To accomplish this, UConn leveraged and expanded their existing lecture capture and streaming infrastructure based on Extron’s
Recognizing that part of the 2021 academic year would still require social distancing and would limit on campus attendance to 30 percent of the student body, UConn implemented a plan to maintain robust remote and hybrid learning capabilities that would meet immediate needs and would be a valuable addition to teaching options well into the future.
To support this plan, the Campus Technology Services AV team headed by IT Manager Steven Fletcher outfitted most classrooms and select seminar rooms across all campuses with over 200 additional SMP 351 Streaming Media Processors.
Learning spaces equipped with the SMP 351 allow UConn instructors to record and livestream any of the AV sources used during lesson presentations. Remote learners take part in classes real time or any time later via on-demand access through the Kaltura video cloud platform.
Instructor-Friendly AV User Interface
Each AV-enabled learning space is equipped with an Extron
State-of-the-Art AV Switching, Streaming, Control
In every AV equipped learning space, a single user command powers all AV system components on or off under control of
In larger learning spaces, switching and distribution is handled by
Remote Monitoring, Control, User Assistance with GlobalViewer Enterprise
UConn deployed Extron’s
In a typical week, the SMP 351 supports education content recording and livestreaming for 150 class sessions. SMP 351s broadcast to dedicated Kaltura web pages that are listed online for students to access on-demand. This capability allowed UConn to continue to provide quality education throughout the pandemic. The user-friendly AV systems developed by UConn’s Campus Technology Services team eased the transition to this style of teaching and learning. UConn AV team member Jeffrey Albright, Audio Visual Technician 3, is the principal designer and coder behind the interactive GUI that makes operation so intuitive. Explaining his team’s service philosophy and their experience with Extron, he says, “We strive for simplicity, standardization, and reliability. We want our rooms to work every time a professor walks in to teach a class. That’s one of the reasons that we use Extron for switching, distribution, and control. We select AV suppliers based on product durability, functionality, and responsive technical support. Extron has always been awesome at all three.”