Category AV in Education

Learning Solutions for Hearing-Impaired Students

The following is a guest post from Sennheiser, an AVI-SPL partner that specializes in audio solutions, including those designed for business and education applications.

In order to promote integration at universities and other educational institutions, ever better technical solutions are being developed that enable all students to have barrier-free access to research and teaching. Inclusion means that no one is excluded; inclusion technology means, for example, that there are no separate places for hearing-impaired students in lecture halls and that everyone can sit wherever they want. Of course, the prerequisite for this is that the hearing quality is the same in all places.

Learning requires listening. In the course of the global digital transformation, the digitization of AV devices affects universities in particular, because they need the best tools for exchanging thoughts and words. Students are best supported in their personal development by creating ideal conditions for the exchange of knowledge and ideas in lectures and discussions.

Audio barriers can be costly for universities in the context of growing societal demand for true integration. Audio streaming on top quality intelligent devices perfects the integration of hearing-impaired students.

In order to make inclusion at universities possible, Sennheiser has developed MobileConnect: Sennheiser MobileConnect transmits audio content via WiFi live and in top quality directly to any smartphone. Using the free MobileConnect app, you can intuitively adjust the sound properties.

Personalized accessibility for students
MobileConnect is Sennheiser’s WiFi-based system for barrier-free hearing. It is optimized for use at universities, where it best meets students’ wishes for state-of-the-art and easy-to-use audio technology.

The system for assistive listening
MobileConnect streams audio content via WiFi live and in excellent quality directly to your smartphone. The audio signal is forwarded to the headphones, hearing aid or cochlear implant.

Personal hearing assistant
The Personal Hearing Assistant developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT makes it easy to adapt the audio signal to individual hearing needs. This intuitive touchscreen control provides hearing aids for the hearing impaired and improves speech intelligibility and sound quality.

How it works
With MobileConnect, the innovative assistive listening system, lectures are transmitted to mobile devices and smartphones via WiFi in real time and in high quality. To access a livestream, students simply download and install the free MobileConnect app (available for iOS and Android) and use their own device to connect to their university’s WiFi network.

Fast amortisation – bring your own device
Students use their own smartphones, so no additional hardware is required. MobileConnect requires no maintenance or operating costs, resulting in lower total cost of ownership and a faster return on investment. This eliminates the need for device handling, headphone hygiene or battery management.

Quick setup, easy operation
MobileConnect integrates easily with any existing audio infrastructure and can be installed within a day. The ConnectStation is simply connected to the existing audio system and WiFi and the app is then launched. The entire system is easy to maintain and quickly configured via the Admin Web Interface.

In order to further develop innovative streaming solutions, audio specialist Sennheiser has founded Sennheiser Streaming Technology GmbH (SST) as a competence centre for innovative streaming solutions.

Sennheiser Streaming Technologies combines the 70-year audio expertise of the German family-owned company with future-oriented developments in the field of streaming. The Hamburg-based subsidiary will initially focus on low-latency audio streaming to mobile devices (MobileConnect).

Shaping the future of audio and creating unique sound experiences for customers – this aim unites Sennheiser employees and partners worldwide. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and wireless transmission systems. With 21 sales subsidiaries and long-established trading partners, the company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland, Romania and the USA. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company.

 

Benefits and Examples of Virtual Reality in Higher Education

Virtual reality is about creating experiences. Within higher education, those experiences can have the goal of increasing student engagement with areas of study, improving their learning outcomes and attracting prospective students to your school.

Virtual reality solutions can do more than distinguish your college or university from those who don’t have the technology. They help you keep pace with those who do and with current teaching practices. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2021, 60% of U.S. higher-education institutions will use virtual reality systems to create simulation and learning environments. The barriers to implementing the technology fall away as the experience improves (better visual acuity and responsiveness) and prices come down,

If your department or your school has been on the fence about adding virtual reality resources to its toolkit, consider the possible applications and how they’ve been successfully implemented:

  • Recruiting students — As I noted in this post on higher ed and workforce development, some schools are using virtual reality technology to immerse prospective students in environments where they can learn and train. They also enable them to take virtual campus tours from the comfort of their home or at college fairs.
  • Preparing students for their careers — Plenty of schools — including the University of Toledo and the University of Nebraska — are using virtual reality in inspiring ways. These institutions are using virtual reality and advanced visualization to help train their medical students in safe environments. AVI-SPL played a significant role in implementing the virtual reality and visualization technology for the University of Nebraska’s iEXCEL program for healthcare education. It’s also helping the school’s medical center track human simulator data so that medical trainers understand student performance during simulation-based instruction. The same team that worked with Nebraska implemented similar solutions for the University of Toledo Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.
  • Creating engaging education programs — There’s an application for virtual reality in many fields of study, including aerospace, architecture, biology, history, mathematics, and medicine. Learners move through and interact with environments like ancient ruins and cities, crime scenes, molecules, engineering structures, and scientific data. For the instructors, the benefits include another way to evaluate learners in competency-based simulations. At Rice University, users of the DaVinci virtual environment can walk amidst seismic data that influences drilling and acquisition decisions for the oil and gas industry.

Getting Comfortable With Virtual Reality

Understand how virtual reality is successfully being used in higher education, and you’ll have realistic expectations of what it can do to advance your program or department’s goals. I’ve included a handful of resources to help you build that confidence.

  • “Virtual Reality in Higher Education: Q&A” — Jim Angelillo, AVI-SPL VP of enterprise business development, explains the benefits of virtual reality, refers to use cases and explains AVI-SPL’s value as a partner that designs and implements these solutions.
  • “Preparing Professionals With Advanced Visualization: Q&A” — Bill Schmidt, AVI-SPL sales director, answers questions about a topic close to virtual reality: advanced visualization. He addresses the technology involved and the process of designing and building the systems.
  • “Visualization and Simulation for Research and Collaboration” — This AVI-SPL tech paper explains the value of virtual environments, and how to choose the right visualization or simulation system. It also looks at North Carolina State University and the visualization and simulation solutions that AVI-SPL implemented to improve the school’s ability to conduct research and collaborate with outside partners (including the U.S. Navy).

Work With an Expert in Virtual Reality Outcomes

AVI-SPL has teams who are dedicated to analyzing your goals when it comes to using virtual reality systems, and designing and implementing systems that will meet those goals. Share your questions and ambitions with our experts.

 

Emerging Trends in Higher Education Technology

Teachers that use technology solutions like interactive whiteboards, video collaboration systems, and advanced visualization are creating learning spaces equipped for the way students want to learn. And as Brawn Consulting points out, they’re also taking important steps toward preparing their students for their lives after school.

Eighty-five percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 will be new — and will involve technology at a high level. Giving students access to technology solutions can also help them develop and hone life skills, including how to learn and think critically and create presentations.

Brawn Consulting, a venerable consultant to the audio-visual industry, has identified emerging trends in higher education, particularly those related to technology:

  • Students expect seamless technology in the classroom
  • Machine learning will predict student performance
  • Outsourcing more IT systems
  • Remote technical support will be more important to systems security
  • Increased group work and collaboration
  • BYOD adoption will be standard
  • Scalable school systems like cloud-based applications, infrastructure, and collaborative platforms
  • Collaboration tools and video communication will become more prevalent

In light of these trends, Brawn recommends that schools and their teachers:

  • Experiment with the technology that engages students and helps them retain their lessons
  • Focus on scalable cloud-based collaboration systems that include managed support
  • Rely on the International Society for Technology Education, a nonprofit that provides technology and learning resources

You can rely on AVI-SPL to help navigate these trends and integrate the seamless technology students expect and need. To create the classrooms that engage students and prepare them for the evolving job market, contact AVI-SPL at sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197.