The summer slowdown in the K-12 hallways creates an ideal opening for school districts to accelerate improvement projects. Approximately 40 miles north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Morley Stanwood Community Schools district took that opportunity to refresh its classroom AV systems district-wide, implementing active learning environments while reducing clutter across 60 classrooms.
The Morley Stanwood Community Schools family comprises one high school, one middle school and one elementary school. Rather than take a phased, one-by-one approach, the district hired Innovative Communications to bring all three schools into the next-generation of AV at once, with all three schools ready to go in time for the 2019-2020 school year.
With streamlined architectures and a modernized infrastructure in mind, the Innovative Communications team set out to find a “single-box” solution at the core to accommodate video and audio switching in the classroom.
“Our initial design plan leveraged more wireless inputs and audio de-embedding capabilities, but the district was concerned about teachers’ desks being cluttered with extra boxes,” said Jeff Zalucha, Account Executive, Innovative Communications. “We then set out to simplify the plan, and explored the idea of an HDMI switcher that could offer both an HDBaseT output and an audio output. We were surprised to discover how rare it was to find these capabilities in a single device.”
“Most importantly, we wanted a system that was simple for teachers to use,” Zalucha continued. “They needed a way to effectively manage projectors and document cameras, for example, without a mess of cabling and infrastructure in the way.”
With few options on the market to consider, the search quickly led Zalucha to Atlona’s AT-UHD-SW-52ED, a 5×2 HDMI switcher with mirrored HDBaseT and HDMI outputs.
Now up and running, the switchers manage signal routing and distribution for a variety of existing projectors, Elmo MX-P document cameras, Lightspeed 955 Access classroom audio systems (mostly in the elementary school classrooms), and desktop PCs among other devices.