In this phase, we’ll be converting one classroom in each campus to be the fully digitally equipped with audio / video / presentation capabilities. The goal is to give a feeling of the instructor actually being present in the classroom, although he’s teaching remotely.
A 200-250 seater classroom will be equipped with Cisco C90 video conferencing system along with professional video, audio, lighting and control systems.
The classroom will be equipped with (a) big LCD screens (b) HD projector and projector screen (c) electronic whiteboard (d) 75 mics for 200 students with push-to-focus button (e) variety of mixers/DSPs for good audio-capability etc.
The Cisco C90 system is inter-operable with conference room telepresence system, and thus people using a variety of clients can join the conference. E.g.: Instructor can use the smaller telepresence room in Pilani with his 10 students locally and teach a larger audience sitting in the 200 seater classroom in Goa campus.
- The front of the classroom has 2 plasmas. These plasmas can show a video-feed from any of the remote or local cameras. E.g. Students in Goa campus can see the instructor from Pilani in both the plasmas. If a student in Hyd campus is asking a question, one of the plasmas can show the face of the student asking the question.
- There will be 2 PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras in the front of the classroom to cover the class, and one PTZ camera in the back to focus on the instructor. Thus there are 3 video feeds per classroom. All of these cameras are programmed with the ability to focus on the exact location in the classroom based on a control signal.
- Any student who wants to ask a question will press the ‘look-at-me’ button built into the gooseneck-mic and one of the the front camera will automatically switch towards that student. The mics are permanently installed on the desks, and shared between 2 or 3 students.
- There are multiple 50-inch plasmas at the back of the classroom. The instructor in Pilani will be able to see the remote classrooom(s) in these plasmas. There is no chance for the students to make mischief !!
- There is a lectern for the instructor with a touch panel which can manually override any control in the room – the video feeds into the plasmas, the camera focus, the mics and the projector feed.
Given that there is a shortage of good faculty for advanced topics, such a digitall enabled classroom is the future of education in India.