The Durban University of Technology (DUT) is a multi-campus university situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. As an internationally recognised university of technology, the institution prides itself on being at the cutting edge of higher education, technological training and research. The institution is committed to providing its more than 23,000 students with the highest quality academic staff and learning environments to further its goal of becoming a preferred university for developing leadership in technology and productive citizenship.

DUT has contracted Videquip (Pty) Ltd., one of the leading AV integrators in the province, to install AV systems to optimise teaching and learning across the institution’s five campuses.

SMART CLASSROOMS

AV solutions for the learning environment need to be designed with the specific needs of the sector in mind. Learning spaces should be equipped with the AV systems needed to integrate technology into the learning process while remaining user-friendly, affordable and easy to maintain. Managing director of Videquip, Ian Thornhill and his team have put together a solution that ticks all of the boxes.

“We have configured a system that allows lecturers to choose whether to deliver a traditional ‘chalk and talk’ lecture, or present content using a laptop or smart device while making notes on an interactive whiteboard that allows class notes to be saved, printed or emailed to students,” Thornhill explains.

Each venue is fitted with a BenQ ultra short throw projector and an 89” StarBoard Interactive Whiteboard that one can use to make notes during class using a stylus or finger. For audio, Thornhill provided a Shure wireless headset microphone, as well as a Shure desktop microphone together with two speakers situated in the drop-in ceiling. Each room is fitted with a room controller that allows the user to switch the system on and off and control the volume. Audio mixing, amplification and room control is all enabled with Kramer technology.

In addition, the team installed WePresent wireless presentation units in all of the venues, so that lecturers can connect to the system wirelessly from any smart device, including their laptop, smartphone or tablet without having to use any cables.

SMART EDUCATION

The inclusion of AV technology in the learning spaces at DUT has the potential to radically improve teaching and learning, as students can focus on engaging in discussions and interacting with content, rather than on transcribing notes. In addition, many of the technologies that have been implemented are becoming a standard in modern boardrooms and smart office spaces. As a result, DUT is actively preparing their student body for the modern world of work.

Investing in AV technology can be a costly exercise. However, Videquip has designed a solution that fits within the austerity measures that all South African state-run Universities face, while delivering a highly flexible AV solution that perfectly meets the requirements of the higher education environment.