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School District Creates Versatile PD Center with ViewSonic Direct View LED Display and ViewBoard Interactive Displays

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School District Creates Versatile PD Center with ViewSonic Direct View LED Display and ViewBoard Interactive Displays
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School District Creates Versatile PD Center with ViewSonic Direct View LED Display and ViewBoard Interactive Displays
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Coalinga-Huron Unified School District is a K-12 school district on the western edge of Fresno County made up of two communities, Coalinga which is located about 12 miles west of I-5, and Huron which is located about 12 miles east of I-5. Serving nearly 5,000 students across four elementary schools, two middle schools and the Coalinga High School, the district is committed to continually advancing its mission to provide the best education and career opportunities to all students.

THE CHALLENGE:

Rooms, like people, often have distinct phases across their lifespans. A 100- foot by 50-foot space in the Coalinga High School was once a library wrecked by an earthquake, then an athletics activity room, and now destined to become an expansive professional development (PD) center. Demolition and construction began in advance of defining the specific technology that would complete the room’s core functionality.

“The superintendent wanted something spectacular and high-end,” said Chief Technology Officer Martin Culberson. “We put in large piping for cables behind the wall and planned for something cutting edge, and while the renovations were in progress, we began reviewing the options.”

The space, said Culberson, was not only quite deep, it was visually striking, with high ceilings and tall windows. The solution would need to be proportionate to the room’s size and vibrant enough to look great even in sunny conditions.

THE SOLUTION:

The year prior, Culberson had purchased over 100 ViewSonic® ViewBoard® interactive displays for classrooms. Due to the success of that deployment, ViewSonic was the first brand he looked at for this project.

“When we needed to update our classroom displays, we were very deliberate in our assessment. Among other things, we talked to a sister school district that recommended ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive displays and surveyed teachers to get their feedback,” said Culberson. “Everyone loved the ViewBoard displays and we continue to be very happy with them.”

In addition to ViewSonic’s ViewBoard interactive display lineup, Culberson was immediately impressed by the size, image quality, and visual impact delivered by the ViewSonic 163-inch Direct View LED display. The ease of maintenance blew him away.

“The modularity of the product is incredible. If one panel gets damaged you can slide it out and pop another one in,” he said. “I saw a demo of someone standing in front of a beautiful, big Direct View LED image take out a working panel, pop in a defective one, then show the ease of replacing it and restoring the gorgeous image. It’s a fast and seamless fix.”

Impressed as he was, Culberson wanted to be certain that Direct View LED was the best option for the project and tasked his IT director with assessing competitive options.

“As it turned out, there really wasn’t much available by way of apples-to-apples options,” said Culberson. “There were large LED displays, but we wanted something bigger, and most other Direct View LED solutions were super high- end, like those you see in airport terminals.”

Culberson presented the options to the superintendent. A single 98-inch LED display would have been less costly, but would fail to deliver the desired impact in the expansive space. A matrix of LED displays with bezels that would break up the content was out of the question. Ultimately, the team chose the ViewSonic Direct View LED display.

“The superintendent loved the ViewSonic Direct View LED because it was quite frankly spectacular in every way,” said Culberson. “Not only does it look amazing, the modularity makes it easy to maintain and because of that it will be a great value over time.”

Culberson added a total of four 98-inch ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive displays – two on each of the room’s side walls – which would allow presenters to extend the primary image as well as accommodate up to four breakout groups.

RESULTS:

  • The 163-inch Direct View LED display maximizes visibility in the large and deep room

  • The district can count on easy, cost-effective, front-of-screen maintenance

  • The ViewBoard displays provide added visibility along the side walls

  • The room accommodates collaborative breakout sessions/small groups using the four ViewBoard interactive displays

 

In its third phase of life, the space that is now the Coalinga-Huron USD Professional Development Center is a clear standout, used daily for large and small group training sessions.

The control system, which allows for sending homogeneous or varied content to the five screens, is both complex and intuitive to use, said Culberson.

“So far everyone has found it easy to just walk up to the podium, plug in via HDMI or other dongles we provide, and begin presenting,” he said. “We keep a tech nearby just in case, but no one’s had to ask for help so far.”

As the room’s visual and functional focal point, the ViewSonic Direct View LED display has not disappointed.

“Feedback on the ViewSonic Direct View LED display has been nothing but amazing,” said Culberson. “The superintendent loves it, and presenters say that it’s the best display they’ve ever seen.”

The impressiveness of this massive front-of-room display is most evident when a presenter is delivering PowerPoint or Google slides, Culberson added.

“The gigantic size, seamless edge-to-edge look, and crispness of the image is outstanding,” he said. “It’s like someone just dropped giant PowerPoint slides into your room.”

And that, Culberson added, is exactly what the sizeable space and functional objectives called for.

“We needed a really big display to maximize visibility to large audiences, which the 163-inch ViewSonic Direct View LED delivers perfectly,” he said. “In addition to that, when we synchronize the four ViewSonic ViewBoard displays with the content on the Direct View LED display, we can extend the viewing angle even further, with every one of these terrific displays delivering beautiful clarity and detail.”

An added benefit of this setup is the ability to configure the space for breakout sessions or smaller meetings. Using a custom-built iPad app, Culberson’s team can easily enable each of four groups to control a ViewSonic ViewBoard display for high-impact interactive presentations and group collaboration.

Clearly, the transformation of the once library/athletic space into a state-of-the art training facility has been a huge success. As with any project, there were bumps in the road, but not one of them was related to a ViewSonic product, said Culberson.

“It’s a complex system, and we had a few issues, but no problems at all related to ViewSonic,” he said. “In fact, our project lead at ViewSonic helped us get though everything – even with issues not at all related to their products. Everything about ViewSonic has been fantastic – the products, support, and the people.”

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