Tampa, FL – The Tampa Preparatory School, located in the heart of downtown Tampa, FL in a 150,000 square-foot complex, is always looking to remain on the cutting-edge of technology and striving to expand its curricular offerings with technology that supports a variety of learning styles. When the school recently decided to replace its previous cumbersome remote control units in its Active Learning Environments with a new solution, it called on BCI Integrated Solutions, a leading provider of security, data & network cabling, fire & life safety, audio visual and healthcare communications solutions. The integrator, in turn, selected FLEX-LT room control systems from FSR, a leading manufacturer of products for all segments of the ProAV industry including, education, hospitality, government, corporate and religious markets, to replace the remotes.
BCI Integrated Solutions installed a total of 47 FSR FLEX-LTs; one per classroom and one in each of the main gathering rooms, to control two Epson Brightlink projectors, a flat screen TV, two Apple TVs® as well as all of the inputs on each of those devices per room. The school’s new spaces, which incorporate these custom components including light, sound, comfort and technology, have all been designed to provide students with an atmosphere conducive to optimal learning, collaboration, student engagement and creativity.
According to Chad Lewis, Director of Technology at the Tampa Preparatory School, the criteria for the new control units included an elegant design, small footprint and competitive price point to control over 100 displays previously operated by five remotes per teacher. Now, FSR’s versatile units mount in a wall or sit on a surface to present an operator-friendly color touch screen. Non-technical users, both students and teachers, can operate the system effortlessly and control the various sources with a simple touch.
“One of our missions as Tampa Prep’s Technology Department is to make technology as seamless as possible for teachers,” says Lewis, who worked closely with BCI Integrated Solutions on the project. “The Flex control panels are a big part of our school’s Active Learning Environments. With three digital displays per classroom, including two Apple TV’s per room for a total of over 100, that’s five remote controls per teacher. The FSR Flex removed the necessity of those remotes. No more chasing down batteries and the teacher doesn’t have to fumble around looking for the correct unit, then remembering which button to select.”
The FLEX-LT units allow projectors, as well as other devices, to be controlled in small spaces without the aid of an IR remote. A built-in scheduling feature provides cost and energy-savings with its power off command that will ensure maximum projector bulb life by automatically shutting off displays that have been accidently left on. It can also alert the support staff to issues such as an elevated lamp life, therefore reducing the down time of the room.
The Flex-Able configuration utility features an uncomplicated method to maximize system capabilities with drag ‘n drop programming that eliminates the need to learn another programming language. This allows easier updates if system equipment changes.
Tampa Preparatory School’s Active Learning Environments received a user-friendly system designed so that both teachers and students alike can easily control an assortment of equipment. According to Lewis, the systems are so straightforward, “All the teachers have to do is to select what they want to do — it’s in ‘plain English.’ For example, they press ‘Student Apple TV’ as opposed to finding the fourth remote and remembering to press ‘input number three.’ These new systems are helping teachers quickly get to teaching and students quickly get to learning as efficiently as possible.”
Lewis says that the school plans to transform its lecture halls into Active Lecture Environments in the future, just as all of its classrooms are now, and will once again look to FSR FLEX-LT systems as its control solution.
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of signal management and infrastructure solutions for the AV/IT, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), corporate, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes and wireways, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless scaling switchers and HDBaseT signal delivery solutions. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. The Company is also an HDBaseT Alliance Adopter Member. For more information: www.fsrinc.com.
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