Huddle spaces are not just for the workplace. Increasingly classrooms are replacing traditional lecture-based instruc- tion with what is often called the “flipped classroom” which emphasizes teacher-facilitated collaboration among students. School district initiatives and state and local grant money are help- ing to fund the necessary technology and content to make collaborative classrooms possible.
In one example, the Corpus Christi Independent School District (ISD) has deployed 32 TEKVOX 4K/4xHD Collaboration Stations in a grant- funded pilot program at South Park Middle School. The advanced student collaboration table solution was installed by Phoenix-based Troxell Communications.
The opportunity came about when Texas-based education consultant engage2learn worked with the Corpus Christi ISD to apply for and implement a grant designed to support the state’s lowest-performing schools. For South Park Middle School that would mean combining 1-1 instruction on Google Chromebooks from the lecture portion of their classes with shared learning in the classroom at the TEKVOX Collaboration Stations.
“The grant helps South Park Middle School explore ways to improve its test scores,” says Troxell’s Thomas Brackley. “Although every student has a Chromebook, there haven’t been many opportunities to learn from each other. So engage2learn built a curriculum and teacher train- ing program around the implementation of a flipped classroom collaborative environment. Now up to six students can hook up to a TEKVOX Collaboration Station and display multiple HD content streams from their Chromebooks.”
Students watch their content on the 4K LED monitor mounted at the end of the table. “The TEKVOX TekTouchPad controls everything; it’s super-easy to use and has color-coded cables that connect to the kids’ Chromebooks,” Brackley says. “A student just presses a button to connect to the table.”
The grant initially called for using collaboration furniture from another vendor. “The solution from a nationally-known brand was very expensive, and the school thought it would be able to install only a portion of the collaboration tables it wanted,” says Reed Hinkel, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at TEKVOX. “But we were able to partner with Spectrum Furniture to design a table and technical package at a fraction of the cost so South Park Middle School could outfit all of its classrooms.”
“The Collaboration Station is simple and straightforward. That’s probably its biggest selling point,” says Brackley. The table also requires “very little maintenance,” he adds. “All of the parts are pre- programmed. There’s nothing left to do once it’s in place.”
Troxell’s South Park Middle School installation was followed by three more sales of TEKVOX Collaboration Stations to educational institutions in San Antonio: Trinity University, the Judson ISD in northeast San Antonio, and the Alamo Community College District.
“I think the collaboration tables are the wave of the future,” says Brackley.