NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Education

UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN FINLAND

MAKING USE OF MODERN DISPLAY AND VIDEOCONFERENCE TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

Modernization of the education and conference facilities

With approximately 15,000 students and 2,800 members of staff, the University of Eastern Finland is one of the largest universities in Finland. The University of Eastern Finland was established in 2010 as the result of the merger of the University of Joensuu and the University of Kuopio. The university’s three campuses are located in Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna. The University of Eastern Finland is a multidisciplinary university, which offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects.

A collaborative learning environment plays an important role in the university, and it has been further enabled and developed by technology solutions. Both the high standard of teaching and the well-being of students are supported by a modern environment for advanced learning.

The Challenge

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It became obvious in the newly established University of Eastern Finland that the campuses situated in Kuopio, Joensuu and Savonlinna have to be able to communicate with each other through the means of modern technology. The university’s education facilities and conference rooms situated on campuses in three cities were equipped with outdated technology that was troublesome to use. This formed a bottleneck for effective communication and teaching in the newly established University of Eastern Finland.

The University of Eastern Finland set the objective to become the leading university when it came to applying technology in education and communication. This necessitated the modernization of the communications systems in conference rooms and display solutions in education facilities required for efficient communication among the three campuses.

In his work Mr. Ari Paldanius, IT designer responsible for the education technology solutions and services at the University of Kuopio, focuses strongly on considering what kind of technology creates conditions for better quality teaching, how technology helps to learn more efficiently, and what the future teaching environment will be for teachers. He began to search for alternatives to modernize the equipment and the solutions at the universities’ education facilities and conference rooms.

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The NEC Solution

When considering the comprehensive solution, Mr. Paldanius had to take into account a multitude of criteria. First of all, the selected presentation and video conference equipment have to have a 5-year guarantee and a long life-cycle to adhere to the university’s investment policy and green office guidelines. Therefore the chosen products are expected to be durable, energy efficient and easy to maintain. The products, their respective accessories and spare parts must be available over a longer period of time, and compatible with one another.

The equipment is in constant use at the campuses during the day. Therefore the selected equipment has to be designed for professional use to ensure a long life-cycle and durability. Professional models are also available for purchase over a longer period of time than domestic models. From the procurement perspective, a long-term supplier able to deliver comprehensive and cost efficient solutions is an ideal choice.

After mapping out and studying the alternatives, Mr. Paldanius chose NEC as it delivers comprehensive display solutions for professional use. This makes the management and procurement processes easier, as both high-quality projectors and displays, as well as their accessories and spare parts are compatible with one another. They also come from the same long-term supplier.

The university’s video conference rooms are equipped either with NEC MultiSync X551S, a 55” LED-backlit super-slim large-screen display or with NEC P551, a 55” LCD display ideal for even the most demanding digital signage applications. The auditoriums are equipped with widescreen, advanced professional installation NEC PA550W projectors. The normal sized class rooms are equipped with 3000-lumen, widescreen NEC M300W and M300WS projectors.

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The Result

The University of Eastern Finland has been successful in planning and implementing new, innovative technology solutions to create a modern, collaborative working environment both for its students and teaching staff. The university strives to ensure that its high standard of teaching is constantly developed. The recent technology solutions also support the university’s goal to become the leading university in applying technology solutions for more efficient education and communication. For example, technology is used to enhance the quality of both near and remote teaching.

Today teachers willingly use the available video conference systems for remote teaching. The interactivity between the teachers and students in a remote teaching space has improved significantly, thanks to better image and voice quality that enhance visual communication. With the help of modern public displays, students at Kuopio campus see a crisp, digital image of the teacher lecturing in Joensuu. They also hear him/her clearly, and thanks to an interactive whiteboard have the content presented at their disposal in digital form, even in 3D. This method saves time and money for both teachers and students, as they do not need to travel to join a lecture or a meeting.

“Now we have modern technology in place. That enables teachers to make full use of their education to fully exploit the pedagogic possibilities technology offers. Both teachers and students have welcomed the new equipment, saying it makes their daily work easier. Better image quality directly affects the efficiency of learning,” Paldanius says.

Since 2010 NEC solutions have been adopted for use in approximately 200 classes on three campuses, and there are still more to be installed. The utilization rate of the facilities is very high, 75–100 per cent. Since 2009 the use of videoconferencing has become five-fold and it is estimated to be ten-fold by the end of 2012.

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NEC’s high-quality solutions offer ease of use and maintenance to the customer. In addition to professional quality, Paldanius greatly values the NEC projectors’ and displays’ low energy consumption, as well as the possibility to automatically switch them off after use. The possibility to connect the devices to LAN enables projector management on one spot. Both features provide the displays, projectors and projector lamps with a longer operating life. It also reduces the need to replace projector lamps. This results in less need for spare parts that are available for 5–10 years after the manufacturing of a certain model is finished. All of this results in time, labor and cost savings, as well as environmental friendliness.

“NEC values long customer relationships and offers high quality, flexibility and availability also when serving the customers. In case we happen to need service for a NEC device, it is collected from us and we get a new device in exchange. We can go on with our activities without having to wait for the replacement device for weeks,” Paldanius says.

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