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Kent State University

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Kent State University
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INTRODUCTION

Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio, with nearly 22,000 undergraduate students. At Kent State University, students hail from every corner of the globe to do work that paves the way for a brighter tomorrow. The university’s blue and gold family is comprised of a world-class faculty, serving as researchers and mentors unafraid to break the mold and push boundaries. 

THE CHALLENGE

To ensure academic continuity, Kent State was looking to modify their existing rooms to support remote and hybrid learning. The provost office had become interested in modern approaches to class delivery and was looking to implement video conferencing technology, as they did not previously deploy it at a large scale in their classrooms.

THE SOLUTION

Kent State partnered with AV integrator SVT to implement scalable designs and cutting-edge technologies that would be effective in small instructor spaces and large hybrid lecture halls. As heavy Microsoft Teams® software users, Crestron Flex was the perfect solution for the school to leverage. 

THE TECHNOLOGY

Crestron Flex was the optimal solution for students and faculty, as they were already familiar with Microsoft Teams. Crestron Flex solutions enable Kent State to continue to operate with their existing platforms while incorporating multiple displays for a more immersive experience. The technology gives faculty a one-touch to join option for meetings and sharing capabilities via the host PC or connecting their own device. It provides a single interface for control versus going with another Microsoft Teams device that would require two points of control. Kent State also deployed Crestron DM NVX® AV-over-IP technology to instantly and flexibly route 4K video to various displays within the school. DM NVX was selected because it allows for scalability in design while maintaining the same basic architecture. With DM NVX, the university can expand on its technology and transition its capabilities when they return to full capacity after COVID. DM NVX technology in the university’s large lecture halls and small classrooms allows the faculty to be comfortable and familiar in any setting.

DM NVX and Crestron Flex were deployed in nine classrooms – eight on the main campus and one on their satellite campus. Engineered for demanding classroom applications, this pairing provides stability and reliability, ensuring real-time, full-motion 4K60 video performance for distributing content. In addition, each room contains a Crestron control system and a Crestron touch screen that controls the camera, audio, video, and more. Crestron touch screens offer a powerful and intuitive user interface that is fully customizable with easy-to-use capacitive controls, true feedback, and real-time status display. Although the classrooms aren’t at full capacity due to COVID, faculty can utilize Crestron touch screens when they are the only individual in the classroom or in a large hybrid space. 

RESULTS

Crestron has transformed Kent State University into a modern and techforward setting for students and faculty and has delivered the best possible hybrid learning experience. With a standardized technology infrastructure, the university now has the capacity for scalability and long-term success. "Regardless of the size of the room, we were able to deliver a consistent experience with Crestron," said Molnar. "Students and faculty are blown away by the technology, and we are thrilled with the experience we’re now able to provide them with.”