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Phoenix College Relies On Hitachi‘s T-17SXL StarTablet To Maintain Its Flagship Technology Position In The Nation‘s Largest Community College

–Hitachi’s T-17SXL StarBoard StarTablet Offers Enhanced Instructor-Facing Engagement With Students And A Scalable Solution For Any Sized Classroom–

Phoenix College prides itself on being the technology flagship for the entire Maricopa Community College District in Arizona – the single largest community college system in the United States and one of the largest in the world, with 10 colleges, two skill centers and numerous other education centers. Underscoring the media department’s mission of “continuously seeking out and implementing, dynamic, innovative leading educational technology,”? Phoenix College has consistently turned to Hitachi, the leader in educational AV systems design, for its StarBoard interactive presentation system. In fact, this year, Phoenix College purchased 17 additional Hitachi T-17SXL StarBoard StarTablets through Phoenix based Troxell Communications, bringing the total number of Hitachi StarBoard systems used at the College to 101, including several 15-inch StarBoard models.

For an educational institution at the cutting edge of technology and one that offers its programs via distance learning online as well as in the traditional classroom, the T-17SXL StarBoard StarTablet is an indispensable educational and communications tool.

The Maricopa Community College District is the largest provider of health care workers and job training in Arizona — a major resource for business and industry and for individuals seeking education and job training. It offers approximately 1,000 occupational programs (degrees and certificates), and 37 academic associate degrees, from among 10,254 available courses. As the recognized flagship of this complex school system, Phoenix College takes its technology mandate seriously. “We wanted to create the most comprehensive classroom possible, one that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of innovation and emerging technology by providing an ever expanding professional instructional environment,”? explains Mike Poplin, Director of Media Services at Phoenix College. “Most other classrooms in the system have a projector and computer, but our classrooms also include a PadCamera, DVD/VHS combo player, classroom control panel, and inputs for a laptop computer and jump drives. The Hitachi StarBoards have been an integral part of this effort to lead the way in educational technology.”?

Poplin says the ongoing acquisition of the Hitachi StarBoards began about four years ago, following a careful evaluation of competitive offerings.. “The buzzwords at the time were ‘smart’ and ‘smart panel,’ but most products have major limitations,”? he says, such as the instructor to face away from the class to use the boards and limited projection sizes. The Hitachi StarBoard series, however, addressed all of those shortcomings. “The projection image size is limited only by the size of the projection screen, so it’s a very scalable solution,”? he says. “Additionally, instructors can use the StarBoard while they’re facing the class, which really helps communication between instructor and student, and the software is fantastic.”?

Hitachi’s software allows conferencing among up to 42 sites or student workstations with character recognition software to run applications with freehand writing and object recognition software that converts freehand geometric objects, such as circles and triangles, to smooth drafting quality geometric objects.

Functionality such as Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, Paste, color, adjust line width, etc. make for a user-friendly interface as easy and intuitive as most word processing programs. The T-17SXL raises the bar in tablet presentation technology with a 17-inch LCD display screen that boasts SXGA resolution with excellent color and contrast. The T-17SXL also has a thin screen that assures natural, accurate operation. Other technological innovations include built-in video pass-through permitting the connection of projectors and computers with the StarBoard system without requiring an external video splitting amplifier. “The Hitachi StarBoard has been an integral part of keeping Phoenix College at the cutting edge of our school system,”? says Poplin. “It’s hard to imagine being there without it.”?

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