May 09-2011

At Wisconsin’s Gateway Technical College, the faculty and staff are confidently teaching with technology every day. It is integrated seamlessly into classroom presentations through the Kramer Electronics’ SummitView System. Instructors use the system to control document cameras, PCs, and DVD players, with an option to project content from portable electronics devices and even cell phones. In addition, Gateway Technical College is able to give its 6,000 full-time equivalent students the advantages of distance learning by connecting campuses through videoconferencing using the SummitView system for room control.
The college’s CIO and Learning Innovation Division Vice President Jeff Robshaw says the technology is a welcome change on its campuses in Kenosha, Racine and Elkhorn and at its four Technology Centers in Burlington, Kenosha, Sturtevant and Pleasant Prairie. “SummitView has replaced a system that was complicated and confusing for our staff,” Robshaw said. “There were a number of possible room configurations so instructors had the challenge of re-learning these systems every time they taught in a new location. Using SummitView provides a consistent experience for our staff and students.”
The project’s objective was to simplify and standardize room controls throughout the college’s eight facilities. The solution needed to be portable, supportable and flexible. The SummitView system provided a complete installation kit including switcher/processor, controller, wall plates, audio amplifiers, speakers and CAT5 cabling. Gateway Technical College installed SummitView systems in over 70 rooms, along with video projectors for high resolution display. The electronics are managed through an easy-to-use remote control panel. The system controller itself is small enough to be placed above the projector, eliminating any chance that students or faculty will attempt to reprogram it.
“The configuration is the same in every room, and our technicians have stopped getting calls to support these media rooms – everyone is impressed with the ease-of-use,” Robshaw said.
Several “Delta” classrooms have been designed with videoconferencing systems connected to the SummitView. These distance learning rooms allow the college to combine participants on various campuses for a class that may have low enrollment, thus preventing cancellation. They also allow more crowded classes to have satellite classrooms, eliminating the need to commute. Administrators are scheduling curriculum meetings in the rooms, as well, so they can use the technology first-hand.
“All the feedback from users and from our technical staff has been positive,” said Robshaw. “The system is reliable, convenient and intuitive.”