The University of Cambridge – David Attenborough Building

IDNS provide digital transformation for the University of Cambridge’s David Attenborough building

The University of Cambridge is home to the new centre for biodiversity conservation, The David Attenborough Building. The Building is a focal point for research, enabling the transformation of understanding and conservation of biodiversity.
IDNS completed the project, working closely with the University of Cambridge and onsite facility teams, designing and specifying all AV system requirements for the new building. This included the installation of seven different meeting room spaces, from small one-screen huddle rooms to a large lecture theatre with capacity of up to 100 people.

Collaboration is Key

The variety of collaborative facilities installed covered a number of solutions for different meeting and educational scenarios. Huddle rooms were created for smaller discussions, featuring 42” NEC Screens. Larger meeting spaces were created with the same principle of the huddle rooms featuring larger 55” NEC Large Format Displays, in-room Crestron keypad and were equipped with a room booking Crestron TSW-730 control panel for managing the use of the space.

Several innovative video conferencing suites were also installed, fitted with two 55” NEC Large Format Displays and a centrally mounted Polycom EagleEye camera. The rooms are controlled by an iPad via LaunchPort dock which works through the Crestron control app.

A series of of specialist boardrooms were fitted with two 55” NEC Large Format Displays, managed again from a Crestron MPC-M5 keypad which controls the screen’s functions locally when the area is effectively two separate spaces. A PA series NEC projector is paired with a Teammate Eductaor high-spec lecturn with 7” Crestron touch panel and a Lumes DC192 visualiser, creating a truly immersive presentation space.

Going the Extra Mile

IDNS topped off the installation with a special treat, four mobile 65” CleverTouch interactive display screens, which link to surveillance cameras allowing people to bird-watch and keep in touch with nature.

The final element to the large scale installation saw the fitting of an innovative lecture theatre. Two NEC PA522U projectors provide high brightness displays to the theatre, with mirrored Teamview Educator lecturns with Shure Bluetooth enabled microphones and Biamp Audio DSP system, a singular Lab Gruppen C20:8X amplifier, linked to in-built Ecler iC8 speakers create a superior sound experience.

University of Hertfordshire - Exemplar Teaching Rooms

The University of Hertfordshire is renowned for its excellent educational merits and constantly striving to improve the quality of student learning through innovative improvement projects, such as the Concept Classrooms project. This initiative has been led by University and Solution Architect for AV and Digital Media, in conjunction with the Learning and Teaching Innovation Centre, the body that drives the development of educational practice and technology enhanced learning across the University, to create collaborative learning spaces for teachers and students to work together.

“The installations have been a tremendous success and we have seen an incredibly high level of uptake with everyone keen to have their say and influence the wider look and feel of the University. The quick delivery time from IDNS of just two weeks meant that when we unveiled the new spaces people were genuinely surprised”

- ADAM HARVEY, SOLUTION ARCHITECT – AV AND DIGITAL MEDIA

Collaborative Design

IDNS created two different classroom solutions simultaneously installed, encouraging feedback from both students and teachers to help form future technology purchasing decisions for the University, as lessons learned from the preferred solution will be incorporated into new teaching space designs over the next two years.

Simultaneous solutions

Two solutions were deployed in tandem, so the University could test and see which collaborative space delivered the best educational experience. The first space was incredibly innovative, breaking free from the traditional lecture theatre set-up. Two 84” Clevertouch displays allow for content to be relayed in real-time from one display at the front to the second on an adjacent wall. The second area features two 70” NEC Shadow Sense touch screens with real-time tracking and accuracy allowing for student comparison and collaboration, literally at the touch of a button.

Extending education

The two rooms also allow for interaction between themselves. Live participation is achieved by uniting the two areas with Crestron’s Connect IT Cable Caddy. All systems are cleverly connected and controlled by a 10” wall mounted touch panel that integrates with the caballing of the Connect IT faceplates. Additionally the 42U comms cabinet control rack had to be built by IDNS on site, instead of in the preferred controlled environment, which IDNS executed with precision.

Chorlton High School – Interactive Display Solutions

Classroom Interactivity

To create this collaborative classroom experience, IDNS utilised Clevertouch’s advanced range of interactive touchscreen displays to help teachers bring lessons to life. IDNS worked with the school closely to determine that these displays would provide the collaborative solution they sought; allowing students to get actively involved in their lessons at Chorlton High, with touch points that allow multiple users to interact with the display at once. The High Definition display panels now allow all learning materials to be viewed in the most precise detail.

When switching to a new technology platform, there is often a danger of low adoption rates while end users struggle to understand the new systems. IDNS ran a bespoke one day training session in partnership with Clevertouch to eliminate adoption issues and ensure the school’s key users were quickly familiarised with the new operating system.

Inspiring Educational Excellence

Chorlton High School in Manchester prides itself on its excellent education programmes, which provide students at every age and ability level with a foundation for future success. To ensure this, the school is undergoing an academic transformation, strengthening programmes, improving facilities and investing in leading classroom technology.

As part of this initiative, the school enlisted the expert team at IDNS AV to refresh the presentation and learning devices in each teaching space to enhance the collaborative nature of the classrooms. Chorlton High School had previously relied on smartboards and projector systems, but wanted a solution that allowed students and teachers to work closely together as part of the collaborative learning process.

“Thanks to IDNS, all of our learning spaces are equipped with interactive displays. From the classroom, to the lab they have helped us deliver the best digital education tools to our students.”

- DAVID OAKES, NETWORK MANAGER - Chorlton High School

Organised Implementation

Accurate delivery and timings were key to the success of Chorlton High School’s digital upgrade. The first challenged IDNS faced was delivery of the equipment; this presented some unique challenges, as the access to the loading point crossed an active Metro line. To avoid delays and complications, IDNS worked side by side with the Metro operators [Manchester City Council] to have the service suspended from 10am-11am on two occasions so loading could be safely completed.

The installation took place in two phases during the summer holidays of 2014 and 2015 with 81 Clevertouch displays installed. This consisted of 79, 65” interactive displays, one 55” and an impressive 84” in the canteen.

For each installation phase, the IDNS team had just two weeks in which to complete the fitting work, coinciding with the school’s ambitious transformation and build schedule. The displays were installed with wall-mounted solutions for the best classroom viewing, and the IDNS team progressed with the work quickly, delivering the project three days ahead of schedule.