University of California, Santa Cruz
WolfVision Visualizers play key role in every classroom
The University of California, Santa Cruz is a public research university in Santa Cruz, California, USA. Founded in 1965, it has achieved international recognition as a university delivering high impact research, and it demonstrates a strong commitment to both teaching and public service. One of ten University of California campuses, UC Santa Cruz has a current enrolment of more than 18,000 students, and is well-known for its innovative, and progressive teaching methods.
UCSC has been a WolfVision Visualizer customer for many years, and currently has around 100 Visualizers (primarily VZ-8light models) installed and in use on campus. Every classroom and lecture hall, (with varying seating capacities from 18 – 472 students) is equipped with a WolfVision Visualizer. Instructors use WolfVision Visualizers in many different ways: handwriting capture, display of printed materials such as magazines, books, and newspapers, or for on-screen display of 3-D objects such as geology samples, chemistry models, and printed circuit boards. They have also occasionally been used in the UCSC computer labs with their USB signal feeding into a computer to create animations during film-making classes.
“Encouraging our instructors to use Visualizers instead of chalkboards, whiteboards and stand-alone overhead transparency projectors allows us to easily capture their written and drawn content so that it can be easily seen from the back seats of our large lecture halls, can be included in our lecture recordings and distance education feeds, and can be provided to students with a variety of disabilities for real-time viewing and later review.” Said Mr. Bruce Horn, UCSC Learning Technologies Classroom Operations Manager. He added: “For example, we are able to send a feed of all content that is sent through the data projector, including that from the Visualizer to the laptop of a student who can only read text a few inches from his face. A possible future use we have been asked about is to provide a similar feed to a sign language interpreter at a remote site who would then provide a real-time image of their interpretation of the class to students in the room with hearing impairments”.
WolfVision systems are part of overall classroom infrastructure which includes screens, projectors, and either Crestron touch panel systems in large classrooms, or Extron push-button systems in small classrooms. DVD or Blu-ray players, wireless microphones, and occasionally computers are also installed in the classrooms. In lecture halls, lecterns are provided with the Visualizers installed on a shelf on the side of the lectern. In smaller classrooms, the Visualizer is mounted on a GorillaDigital 2000 Cart from GoApeDigital. UCSC have found these carts to be very sturdy and stable, and they provide instructors with the added flexibility of easily moving the Visualizer an alternative location in the classroom if required. UCSC considers image quality, simplicity, reliability, and ease of use to be key factors when choosing Visualizer imaging systems for their classrooms. They appreciate the fact that Wolfvision Visualizers consistently provide very sharp images, and also emphasise the usability benefits - most instructors need only to adjust the zoom wheel when presenting content, which ensures that there are no distractions or delays during classroom sessions.
Wolfvision equipment is great to work with. It is evident that a great deal of thought is put into the design of every aspect of each piece of equipment.Bruce Horn Learning Technologies Classroom Operations Manager - UCSC
Bruce Horn said: “Much better than the previous cameras we used which had dozens of buttons which were confusing. Our classrooms are designed to be user operated so it is important that the equipment operates reliably with little technician interaction”. In summary, Bruce Horn said about the company and its products, “Wolfvision equipment is great to work with. It is evident that a great deal of thought is put into the design of every aspect of each piece of equipment. Just as important is the high degree of confidence inspired by Wolfvision representatives, repair facilities and technical support. When choosing classroom equipment, it is important to know it can be repaired or replaced in a timely manner and that the people who assist in selecting the best matches for our classrooms have a deep understanding of those products and the ways they meet instructors‘ needs”. WolfVision is extremely proud to play such an important supporting role in student education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and looks forward to providing support and advice to this leading educational institution for many years to come.
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