Ron Clark Academy / USACase example of Panasonic security system
Ron Clark Academy / USA
Pioneering Educator Ron Clark: "Technology is Everything"
As a pioneer in the use of technology in education, Ron Clark lauds the impact such tools make on learning.
Ron Clark inspires and draws crowds wherever he goes. It's not only because his Atlanta-based middle school, the Ron Clark Academy, has been named by Oprah Winfrey as "the best school in America," or even because he is the author of a New York Times bestseller on reimagining how lessons are taught. Ron Clark inspires people with his infectious enthusiasm, which is the foundation for his method of teaching that dispels archaic hands-off teaching and preaches dynamic, interactive lessons that elevate students' engagement and performance.
In 2007, Ron installed Panasonic's Enhanced Audio solution throughout his classrooms. The Enhanced Audio system features wearable pendant-style teacher microphones (WX-LT350) and wireless handheld student mics. Cameras in the classroom tied to the pendant microphone help the Academy meet safety and security challenges, while also giving teachers an option to archive lessons, demonstrations and presentations. Panasonic also worked with the school to create an immersive experience with flat panels displays installed throughout campus, with a high-impact 40-display video wall located in their multipurpose auditorium room.
Ron Clark Academy teachers heralded Panasonic for making their lives easier by mitigating the need for loud talking, freeing them to add emotion to their lessons through vocal inflections, and reducing the chronic affliction of "going home hoarse" every day. The student microphones have empowered students to speak clearly and give command to more soft-spoken students, while the 40-display video wall has become a tremendous asset for the revolving door of educators that visit the school.
One of the major pillars of Ron Clark's teaching philosophy is the implementation of technology that can improve how students learn and teachers teach. In 2007, Ron installed Panasonic's Enhanced Audio solution throughout his classrooms to allow students to hear lessons clearly, while keeping them engaged. The Enhanced Audio system features wearable pendant-style teacher microphones (WX-LT350) and wireless handheld student mics. All mics are interfaced to a remote multi-channel amplifier/receiver and ceiling-mounted speakers via infrared technology.
WE TURNED TO PANASONIC
We looked at a number of systems and Panasonic's Enhanced Audio system was the best," Ron Clark says. "The sound was crisp, it was clear, it was easy to use and it projected throughout the room beautifully. What's more, it enabled me to whisper from any spot in the room and sound like I'm right next to a student."
Ron Clark Academy teachers heralded the technology for making their lives easier too by mitigating the need for loud talking, freeing them to add emotion to their lessons through vocal inflections, and reducing the chronic affliction of "going home hoarse" every day. Teachers also noted that students can hear what they're saying more clearly, so that there is dramatically less misunderstanding of lessons.
On the flip side, the system's student microphones empower students to speak clearly and give command to more soft-spoken students. Notes Ron, "It's particularly exciting to see the impact on the shyest kids in the classroom. You can see the transformation giving them a mic has — they have instant confidence."
Panasonic's Enhanced Audio system also helped the Academy meet safety and security challenges. The pendant microphone contains security features that enable teachers to discretely alert school officials to a classroom emergency. At the same time, the ceiling-mounted network cameras (WV-SF438) send real-time images to phone displays for immediate responses. To alert administrators, teachers just need to trigger a discreet button on the microphone and cameras begin recording and streaming data to the pre-selected monitoring station(s) of the school's choice and send email blasts to first responders. Alternatively, the schools can use the button on the microphone to send text messages, emails, screen shots, and live streamed video anywhere they designate, such as a main office, school security personnel or first responders.
"Offering teachers an additional layer of security allows them to focus on teaching," adds Ron.
However, the cameras don't solely exist for security monitoring. While Panasonic's advanced security alert and monitoring features exist to be activated only on an "as needed" basis, the system's seamless A/V multimedia recording capability is in daily use by Academy teachers wishing to archive a lesson, demonstration or presentation. This allows the high-performing teachers at the Academy to share their practices with other teachers around the world so they can be replicated.
THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
Following that successful installation, Panasonic worked with Ron Clark to install flat panels into the Academy's bathrooms so that CNN could play on a loop, reminding students that every moment in life is a learning opportunity and fostering the development of lifelong learners. Over the years, Panasonic has supported Ron Clark Academy and its students in their efforts to train teachers and evolve how students learn across the U.S.
TEACHING THE TEACHERS
Since Ron Clark Academy opened in 2007, more than 27,000 educators from around the world have visited to learn about the school's teaching style and philosophy. To meet the demand for teacher training and development, Ron Clark unveiled an innovative educator facility in January 2015. This world-class training institute was inspired by Harry Potter, and in that spirit is adorned by a two-story dragon, grand hall with fiery floors and tunnels and secret passageways.
A key part of the high-impact, immersive experience created by the institute is a massive Panasonic video wall. The dazzling installation is comprised of 40 55-inch ultra-thin bezel professional LED displays (TH-55LFV5U), which created seamless, clear and show-stopping imagery. This is achieved through the exceptional image quality and visibility of the panels, which allows for wide-angle viewing so students at any location in the room can see the videos' pictures. The panels also boast one of the thinnest bezels in the industry (3.5mm bezel to bezel) and deliver images so vibrant they can be seen even with the lights on (thanks to the 700cd/m2 level of brightness and LED backlighting).
Said Ron, "When we wanted to make magic happen, we called Panasonic."
The video wall is a tremendous asset for the revolving door of educators eager to be trained: Ron can show videos of classroom teaching to twice as many teachers at once without disrupting ongoing classes. Also, because the room is multipurpose in nature, the video wall can help "set the tone" for various different events. For example, if there are sporting events going on, the video wall can function as scoreboards. During student assemblies, students can make videos about the topic at hand and present them on the video wall.
Additionally, this multipurpose room has flexibility to transform into an auditorium-style space, with a PT-DZ870ULK projector creating dazzling images on the opposite wall without taking up much space. The bright projector's 8,500 lumens make the content easy to see from anywhere in the room, with the 10,000:1 contrast ratio giving images powerful clarity. The projector also includes Digital Link, which can transmit high-definition video, audio and control signals over a single CAT5e or higher specification Ethernet, reducing the installation headaches for Ron's team. Paired with the projector is the ET-DLE350 lens, which allows the projector to be positioned far away from the screen while maintaining the large image size.
"These products make the whole room feel magical and alive. Kids love it, and the whole atmosphere is transformed into something extraordinary."
The institute will train more than 50,000 educators in the next decade on new revolutionary teaching styles, using the Academy's educator training program called "The RCA Experience." Leveraging the Enhanced Audio classroom cameras, dazzling projection capabilities and instructional video wall, these educators will observe Ron and his fellow teachers, getting trained on the methods that emphasize character development, manners, life skills and respect.
"TECHNOLOGY IS EVERYTHING"
"Technology is everything in education. It has gotten so advanced that instead of the technology enhancing the curriculum, it's the other way around. It's an enormous resource that excites students and makes school a place they want to be."
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