The Prescott Valley Campus of Yavapai College in Arizona underwent construction in 2017 in preparation for the new school year. Driven by a large retirement community with a need for health professionals, the school's 10-year-old Allied Health program was expanding to bring in more students.
"We really outgrew our space," said Nancy Bowers, Director of Allied Health and Associate Dean of the Prescott Valley Center at Yavapai College. "We needed to have some expansion, and our nursing assistant lab was one of those critical areas. Our primary goal is to really prepare the best healthcare workers that we possibly can."
Two skills labs fully equipped with hospital beds were created to help provide realistic environments to train the next generation of nursing assistants, phlebotomists, medical assistants and more. AV equipment was a necessity so that all students would be able to view the instructor as he or she presented various skills and procedures.
Medical exam rooms also needed AV solutions to help share detailed techniques. Capturing lessons for later review was also essential to help students learn.
The college installed two RoboSHOT 20 UHD 4K cameras per room. These PTZ cameras are tied to a Crestron 16x16 DigitalMedia matrix switcher that routes the video to Sony 4k displays. Each room has a presentation computer and touch screen that allows instructors to access AV gear.
Two Vaddio AV Bridge systems feed the video and audio via USB into a computer for lecture capture with Panopto or for distance learning via Zoom virtual classrooms. Instructors simply aim the camera, using presets they can choose for themselves, and start recording. If there are 30 students in a class, they can try to fit around the instructor or they can watch what's happening on any of the 4k displays around the room. Technicians can also use the web interface on the AV Bridges to troubleshoot problems remotely.
"The goal was to put technology in the room that these instructors had never had at their disposal before," said Tom Aldridge, Presentation Technology Manager for Presentation Technology Support Services at Yavapai College. "Since we did that, they're using lecture capture technology to record modules and snippets and can show things to the students that they never had the ability to do before."
Distance learning has been part of Yavapai College's offering for 20 years. They have remote campuses throughout the large county. Traditionally, this required static video conferencing codecs with cameras and point-to-point connection. More recently they've moved to soft clients. With no codecs, the set-up is much cheaper and much more scalable for connecting to anyone in the world, Aldridge said. Having systems he can manage remotely from another campus also keeps classes running without downtime for travel to the site.
Aldridge said he was drawn to Vaddio for the ease of installation and use.
"Being able to pull one Cat-5 cable per camera, terminate them with RJ45s and plug them in, was a life saver," he said. "It saved us time. It saved us money. It was so much easier to do."
The RoboSHOT cameras were chosen for the ability to send signal Cat-5 cabling for a 4K end-to-end configuration. He also appreciated the web interface and RTSP streaming capabilities. It's also easy to connect to the Crestron equipment, Aldridge said, and preset the PTZ controls through IP modules in the Crestron program control system. "I can be in Prescott, open up Zoom, connect to somebody with Zoom, bring in these cameras and show them what's going on in real time. It's awesome. No extra wiring, no video conference codecs, no dedicated VLANs or subnets to be able to do that."
Instructors in the Allied Health program at Yavapai College are enjoying the flexibility of putting videos up on the displays for students and demonstrating new skills with AV technology.
With Allied Health, razor-sharp visuals from 4K equipment was essential in order to show skillsets with a high degree of detail and clarity. Even the architects were surprised at how fine the image looked once it was up and running. As for the teachers, Aldridge said training was easy. He showed them the basics and then came back a week later to find out what else they would like to be able to do and add that capability into the system.
"When this project came along, I was looking for a true 4k type camera solution with easy cabling," said Aldridge. "Everything from other vendors I could find was all either SDI-based, maybe HDMI-based, and didn't travel well. The Vaddio cameras with the OneLINKs and being able to bring all that across Cat-5 cabling - easy, and that's why we stuck with it."