Wireless presentation solution engages students and teachers using many systems
With every student using Chromebooks and educators utilizing Apple or Windows products, Richardson ISD in Texas needed a wireless presentation solution that could accommodate all users. Technology Project Manager Darryl Balch soon realized that was easier said than done.
“We looked at five other presentation solutions, and some were specific to one operating system, or they didn’t work with our enterprise environment,” Balch says. “They either couldn’t set up proxies or would not work with our other layered security.”
Enter wePresent, which allows multiple students to simultaneously share content from any device. Four people at a time can broadcast to one wePresent screen, making it an ideal collaboration tool for juniors taking career and technical education classes, Balch says.
“We have four TVs and three projectors in that classroom, so the teacher can show a PowerPoint or website on a projector, and send Google Classroom to the TVs to display questions related to the lesson,” Balch says. “Students are more engaged during presentations, which, of course, increases classroom conversation and ultimately improves learning.”
While currently used in some administrative offices and one CTE classroom, wePresent will be particularly useful at the local hospital, where high school juniors and seniors learn medical billing and basic procedures, such as taking blood pressure. Currently, teachers use a projector on a cart, but that takes up precious real estate in the small, former surgical and patient rooms, Balch says.
“If we put a TV on the wall with wePresent, the teacher has the entire footprint of the room to utilize, whether it’s for accommodating more students, a different configuration of seats or creating more space for procedures. It would give teachers more flexibility and students more opportunities for engagement.”
Balch looks to expand the use of wePresent in classrooms across the 54-campus district, which educates more than 39,000 students. “Not only is it a cost savings over the traditional route of using a matrix AV router with wiring, it offers a great deal of flexibility and ease of use for the teacher.”
Representatives from Barco, which manufactures wePresent, helped make Balch’s job easier with their responsiveness and tenacity during the initial installation process, he says.
“Even when our network didn’t seem to want to ‘play nice’ with wePresent, they got it to work,” Balch says. “They’re not there just to make a sale; they want to make sure it works and works well.”