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Union County College Takes the Latest Approach to Classroom Technology - Tecom TechPod Lectern
Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010

College performs large-scale modernization using 50 uniform, user-friendly and fully integrated Tecom podiums

Rosh Haayin, Israel – 7 January 2010 – Recently, Stephen Kato, Union County College Director of Media Services, was presented with the opportunity to outfit UCC’s new Kellogg Building facilities in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on a large scale – installing audio-visual capabilities in 50 classrooms.

“I used to say that our multimedia classrooms were easy to use, but not intuitive. Frankly, it was intimidating and confusing,” says Kato. “Faculty had to be trained to operate a rack full of switches, amplifiers, and controls. Plus, the earlier system was bulky, had a large footprint, and was expensive to maintain.”

Kato sought an easy-to-use, intuitive, and uniform solution that could be deployed campus wide while minimizing the variety of components within the system. This would contain his maintenance costs as well as reduce staff anxiety by learning to use a single, uniform, user-friendly system.

Seeking and Finding: Tecom’s TechPod

TechPod Interactive Lectern

Kato chose the Tecom TPI-12 as it represented a complete solution – furniture, control system, interactive screen, document camera and a high-end computer. “The TechPod provides instant Internet connectivity, video streams, and full-time access to UCC’s own network resources” explains Kato.

The TechPod TPI-12 is an all-in-one lectern that has every multimedia capability built in. All devices, including LCD projectors, laptops, and CD/DVD players, are run from a single control panel. Plus, simply closing the unit’s door not only secures the equipment, but also automatically turns off any equipment that may have been left on, including the projector. At UCC, automatic shutdown translates into reduced energy and bulb-replacement costs.

A Smooth Installation: Technology and Teamwork

After deciding to purchase 50 TechPods for UCC, Kato knew he had to have a solid partner in system integration to help handle the logistics and installation process.

His due diligence led him to turn to Doug Cook, Sales Manager for the Video Corporation of America (VCA). Like Kato, Cook has been in the industry for more than 30 years.

Thanks to the cooperation, coordination and communication among the team, the entire installation took less than three weeks. Everything that was planned actually occurred in sequence, on time, and on budget.

The Result: Heavy Deployment, Happy Tech Staff, Happy Instructors

The last critical step was training the faculty to use the new lecterns; this proved to be a pleasant surprise for the instructors. “The units are robustly and elegantly designed, yet are very intuitive and user friendly,” says Kato. “The learning curve was very short, and the staff quickly acclimated to the point where many have abandoned the use of the white boards in favor of using the TechPods.”

TechPod Lectern installation at Union County College

Kato believes that Tecom has provided a huge step forward for instructional technology in the classrooms. He says that the TechPod-equipped classroom has become the model for the rest of the College.

“We’ve had successful installations in many mission-critical environments, including academic, business and military facilities,” say Aviv Brosilovski, CEO, Tecom. “Being chosen by UCC and working with well-respected system integrators such as VCA furthers our ability to present our intuitive, fully integrated lecterns for any lecture hall.”