Room design remote education

In classrooms for education, should be avoided to the maximum visual obstacles both in the rooms where the content is generated, as in the rooms where it is projected.

By Juan Tamayo *

Schools in Latin America have been evolving for some years, to generate knowledge, receive knowledge, share experiences and learn from the best educators has been the mission of institutions, while ensuring that their students possess the best information available and almost in real time.

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For example, models of quality in higher education institutions such as universities and technological receive accreditation score if they possess or carry out training with foreign exhibitors. A few years ago it was costly invite exhibitors, just think about tickets, accommodation and subsistence, made it almost impossible to have a high variety of seminars which students could choose.

Today this situation has changed and universities have virtual tools that enable this type of academic contact. Is the industry ready to provide audio visual solutions necessary to achieve the objectives proposed by AV Latin American educational institutions?

The question that each school is made when planning a budget is what is required to have virtual classrooms? The most facile say only have a computer with Skype, a simple camera and microphone will suffice to generate remote audio visual content. And it is possible to do, but, how will quality content? Will raise the exercise to be performed when designing a room to generate remote or virtual content, is not a brand based on proprietary technologies or exercise, is based on experience and common sense of audiovisual design.

Physical space
Although the content is virtual, must be generated in a physical space, it can be a desk or a large auditorium. No matter the space, you should always have some necessary conditions that the person or persons who are in a remote classroom to observe it well.

The physical space can be subdivided into several areas:
to. Illumination. Is adequate lighting for the presentation? A common misconception is that the space where the presenter is not well lit, creating shadows on the face exhibitor, making its shape observe something strange. To make the correct lighting design can refer to lighting standards proposed by the video conferencing industry, there may 4 analyze different types of lighting for this industry.

b. Money. Again based on video conferencing standards, funds can make a hard time to content generation. For example, a varying background may cause the remote audience not focus on the conference. Also it has another drawback, a varying bottom or poorly designed can make more digital information to be transmitted (depending on the protocol) is generated, making the required bandwidth grows.

c. Obstacles. Avoid full visual obstacles, both in the rooms where the content and the rooms where this is projected is generated. A clear example is to place a camera behind a video projector. Or a hanging microphone captured across half the main video plane. As possible cutting planes or elevation in the design stage to observe the arrangement of elements in the room.

Video capture
The video must be captured in both rooms, both generation and remote viewing. Generally complete rooms are designed so they can be used in both directions. No matter how many cameras, you should always keep in mind the following:
Exhibitor make open shots, so that the audience can get an idea of ​​the content space, considering that the exhibitor can scroll to explain some concept
Perform close-ups exhibitor
Conduct open public, very important planes have feedback from the public, so the exhibitor can vary the tempos of your presentation or get an idea whether the concept that explains it is clear or not.
No make flat on the curtain projection must exist for this direct transmission of the PC system.

Video Display
The video must be transmitted in both rooms, for viewers content that comes from living it generates and the exhibitor must have a retro power the remote room to observe the reaction of the public.

Audio capture and playback
In both rooms, audio capture, the exhibitor should always have a dedicated microphone. The ideal recommendation is to be diadem, but can be used corbateros or hand. The audience must have microphones capture in heaven, but these should not remain open, must have an automatic system to prevent unwanted opening as environments or other noises. As far as possible not to amplify the audio captured in the same room, as it can generate retro feeds the system.

Recording and Transmission
In remote classrooms content, which is digitized and transmitted remotely generated. It can be live or recorded to be played when the student wishes. For proper development must take into account:

Is the content will be used in the future? If the answer is yes, you should consider having storage space, whether physical or cloud. To this you must add a content management system, for example, if the event is paid, credited the system who can view the video.

Does the network support the bandwidth generated by the room? Of the worst experiences in remote classrooms it is when the picture freezes or parts of the content is constantly lost. This is because the system does not support the bandwidth it generates. When performing the design, consider the generation of bandwidth, how it is contemplated the current network and evaluate whether or not requires more bandwidth (a good factor is a 40% availability).

Human resource
As you can see, to run this type of rooms a considerable number of elements required, most of them processors, audio control switches and other visual elements. In the market there is a lot of automation systems that can make life easier operator, but who will decide when to approach the presenter, or when switching from presentation presenter and vice versa ?.

So as advice, when designing these halls, create adequate space for the operator of the room, there he can perform system administration and have the equipment on hand in case something should fail.

* Juan Tamayo is sales engineer for sound installations in Latin America Audio Technica Company. You can write to or

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