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Finding Broad Applications for Versatile Digital Cameras

Selected by Yahoo! as one of the "most wired" institutions of higher learning in the U.S., the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando features classrooms with multimedia systems capable of connecting students to a wealth of global resources via voice, video, and data links. The recently completed 3-level classroom building has two auditoriums, 18 multimedia classrooms, a computer lab, two notebook PC classrooms, and two distance learning rooms.

Ceiling mounted Proxima video/data projectors and large projection screens are installed in the classrooms and auditoriums. Each room also features a computer with a CD/DVD player and network connections, a video cassette deck, connections for laptop computers, a high-resolution ELMO PTC-110R document camera, and a JBL sound system. Creston VideoTouch color touch screens dedicated to each room control all of these systems.

ELMO PTC-100R cameras installed in the ceilings serve a variety of purposes at UCF. According to Ron Knappenberger, the university’s senior engineer, the cameras are an integral part of a high-tech distributed learning system that connects the university’s campuses at Daytona Beach, Cocoa, Downtown Orlando, South Orlando, and Orlando.

Because of their compact size and all-in-one capabilities, ELMO cameras were installed at the state-of-the-art Rosen School of Hospitality Management, which is based near UFC’s main Orlando campus. The equipment at the Rosen School was installed by LMG, Inc., a Florida-based provider of high-tech audio/video presentation technology that also has installations in progress at Valencia Community College, Stetson University, and Seminole Community College. The $28.1 million facility features classrooms, laboratories, conference rooms and a library.

At the Rosen School, the cameras serve as document cameras, capable of zooming in and showing documents with high clarity to students in classrooms and auditoriums. Most of the document cameras are permanently installed in the ceilings. Creston touch panel controllers allow faculty and lecturers to easily operate the cameras, projectors, video and audio equipment, even the lighting in these rooms.

Mr. Knappenberger explained that UCF’s Student Affairs Legal Department uses ELMO PTC-110R cameras to record legal proceedings involving students. "We have 3 cameras and recorders set up at U-shaped desks. This allows us to record three participants simultaneously in conjunction with a point-to-point witness system to record testimony from parties located in separate rooms without them directly confronting each other."

About the Author

Richard Barron ([email protected]) is a freelance writer who has written extensively on the use of technology in education.

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