Lone Star College has selected TEKVOX technology solutions to provide HyFlex, or hybrid flexible, learning across its campuses where the A/V capabilities of classrooms have undergone a large-scale upgrade.
Serving more than 80,000 students in the North Houston area, Lone Star College has one of the first and largest managed Audio/Visual systems in higher education with more than 1,000 classrooms spanning seven campuses. The entire college is equipped with A/V systems that are monitored 24/7/365 under a single, cohesive enterprise management system.
Lone Star College has enjoyed a long partnership with TEKVOX and began implementing A/V management systems by TEKVOX in 2009. In 2018, it installed TEKVOX’s third-generation Drop-In A/V system, removing and replacing A/V technology, projectors, screens, and A/V input devices in 100 classrooms.
The coronavirus pandemic put new emphasis on remote learning and its ability to connect teachers and students in all kinds of situations. This year, Lone Star accessed government funding to turn classrooms into teleconference teaching rooms. Three different grant projects permitted the upgrade of more than 500 rooms systemwide, in every main location and some centers, amounting to about one-third of Lone Star’s mediated classrooms.
Once again, the college turned to TEKVOX to provide streamlined, efficient, and easy-to-use HyFlex systems.
Moving to HyFlex gives professors additional tools to teach with: They can use the rooms for their hybrid online classes and have access to classroom resources. HyFlex rooms also enable lecture capture using the same equipment from room to room.
Partnering with TEKVOX on a comprehensive technical solution gives faculty a close to 100 percent consistent look and feel across the system. This is very important for several reasons.
Almost 70 percent of instruction is conducted by adjunct professors who, in some cases, teach at multiple locations. Having technology solutions with the same look and feel allows them to concentrate on teaching instead of learning different media implementations from location to location. Furthermore, the ability to standardize across the system means that Lone Star can shift technicians across the system without a huge learning curve.
The HyFlex upgrade was much larger in scope than any project TEKVOX had done with Lone Star before. It required getting a large number of HyFlex systems quickly out the door and into the hands of integrators CCS and Bluum, a challenge the company met with ease due to their expertise in delivering drop-in A/V solutions that all but eliminate technical challenges for the integrator and end user.
Lone Star’s TEKVOX HyFlex solutions feature 1201-MV presentation switchers with 4K compatibility and 4K ePTZ auto-tracking cameras. Both products are cost effective yet punch well above their weight class when compared to similar equipment.
“Lone Star College has been collaborating with us on their standards for years. It was a pleasure to provide them with the latest HyFlex technology while keeping it simple and cost effective so they can focus on what they do best, which is teach” says TEKVOX Vice President of Sales, Joshua Joseph.
“TEKVOX has always been very responsive to Lone Star,” notes James Crawford, Lone Star College’s Executive Director, Campus Services. “Whether it was [dealing with] supply chain issues or design changes, TEKVOX has been a great partner to work with.”
Crawford says that he always seeks out manufacturers, vendors, and integrators that “are more like partners than business relationships – and TEKVOX has been that for us. We have strong communication lines with all levels of the company, and they are very interested in producing a world-class experience.”
In addition, “TEKVOX has always been open to customer feedback and, in many cases, has made product changes based on that feedback,” Crawford points out. “They have also provided valuable insight and advice within our operations and have become a trusted set of second eyes. I don’t know if you can get that with other companies.”
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