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Distance learning at Walter Payton High School

Document camera in distance learning roomPlasma really is the ideal display for distance learning, since it provides a large, crisp image that works well with the bright lighting needed for good camera pickup. The Payton distance learning room uses four Pioneer 50" displays for truly outstanding video.

Shown here is the early morning Latin class with students at Von Steuben High School at the far end. Note the instructor's use of the document camera. There's no need for a blackboard in the room. The camera allows her to show handwritten notes, documents and illustrations from books on the large-screen displays in both classrooms. In the photo below, Facilities Director Marty McGuire mans the controls in an operator's area at one side of the room.

Operator's workstation in distance learning roomUnited Visual's Bill Mullin says using a Tandberg videoconferencing codec is one reason the system works so well, as it allows a great deal of flexibility in the use of cameras and audio components. Two ParkerVision videoconferencing cameras are aimed at the students. A third camera follows the instructor, who may move around the room wearing a "necklace receiver" that the camera senses. Of course, the Tandberg handles the document camera as well, and the operator can bring in images from a PC or even from the school's video distribution system.

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