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Video Conferencing Room Design

Technology Innovation awards 2004

Distance Education Facility Design

Distance Learning Facilities

Smart Classroom Technology

Curriculum Delivery Technology

School Infrastructure

Technology For Disabilities


Grants for SMART Boards

Board Rooms, Auditoriums, Classrooms&Training Facilities 2002 Best Rooms Awards



Welcome to Smart Schools, a web site about using better technology in canadian schools

This site is under construction, but you are welcome to look through the collection of material that will one day become a web site.

Integrated & Accessible Multi-Media Devices
Reduce Travel Costs & Risk
Innovative Solutions For Data

Training Room Design Samples (6-10 people)

Amik Technology would be pleased to assist your organization with the planning, design and installation of video conferencing technology. As a consulting firm we offer a product independent service that ensures you get the best product for the task, not necessarily the most expensive.

The most effective installations of video conferencing technology require architectural services, electrical engineering for power and lighting, mechanical engineering for ventilation, and acoustics engineering.

An effective implementation of video conferencing can reduce travel and increase workplace productivity. Failure to properly engineer this type of system will result in less effective meetings, which leads to lack of use of the system and failure to meet risk reduction, cost reduction and productivity goals.

Student microphones were suspended from the ceiling out of reach of the audience to aviod damage. Based on the vandalism problems in the new Atac building LU should have stayed with the earlier design
System functions are controlled by a Panja AMX touch panel

Video Conferencing Room Design Samples (University Lecture Theatre)

This project involved the retrofit of a large 75 seat lecture theatre at Lakehead University. The room was a prototype room with the findings of the project being used as input to the design of the now constructed ATAC building.



March 2003



Conference Calling Guide

Audio Conferencing  



A Review of Contact North's "Emerging Technologies" Conference

Contact North Hosts its 2003 Emerging Technologies Conference at the Valhalla Inn, Thunder B ay February 25-27, 2003.

There were probably 250 participant, question is: What did we see? What should we have seen? and Where do we go from here?

Video Conferencing Technology

Adcom, Duocom, and Wardrop display some of the current toys out there for videoconferencing.

Adcom displayed a medical cart complete with a high resolution monitor that is used for Telehealth consulting. During a workshop they actually demonstrated a telehealth consultation with their head office staff. This was good at showing the technology in practice but I was expecting to see heavier use of diagnostic tools. It would have been really nice to see a medical supplier with a wide range of diagnostic tools at the conference.

Duocom displayed typical board room videoconferencing systems and smart board technology. They had a Sony plasma video screen that looked pretty sharp one comment though, these are susceptible to burn-in so for static pictures you may wish to pursue LCD technology.


Dr. Catherine Henderson, CIO of Community Services I & IT Cluster spoke on eLearning but the focus was on computers in the curriculum not video conferencing or streaming of lectures. Bottom line computers in the curriculum make students more employable, they are better stimulated learners, and they get better grades. The big gap still seems to be in developing the curriculum so that it embraces the technology. The conclusion from the session was that the world drastically needs more integrators and analysts (the application engineers of the computer trade).

There are currently quite a few Distance Education systems that are now installed in learning centers. Reportedly few are getting rave reviews. In a conversation with Bob Angel, head of CTRC at Lakehead University the common issues seem to be that distance education systems are too complicated. Too many key strokes too much to remember! Lakehead is currently working in partnership with Sony Corporation to resolve some of these areas of complication.

In terms of what we did or didn't see at the conference, nobody really touched on this area. We should have seen vendors talking about the advancements of AMX and Crestron central control units in simplifying use of the technology.

Health, Telehealth

Doctor Ed Brown, Director of the NORTH Network project gave a good talk on the current use of videconferencing for telehealth consulting. Use of this system is increasing rapidly causing the team to work very hard at scheduling consultations. Interesting to note that this is still a volunteer project and that OHIP is not yet funding this type of medical consult.

The status of eHealth (Electronic Health Records) was presented by Sam Marafioti. While there seemed to be lots of stuff going on in this area the most memorable issue was that Politics associated with Privacy and Security seem to be the major stumbling block in terns of getting projects going. Also the sad attempt that the government did at issuing new health cards is a big issue as eHealth databases need to use the health number as a unique identifier for clients.


Networks & Bandwidth

Audio and video over IP are really starting to take hold. Customers that use private networks to interoffice communicate are finding videoconferencing and IP telephones are really cost effective communication tools. It is also a really good tool to justify more bandwidth than other business cases might allow.

Satellite Internet is coming along. The problem with Satellite Internet continues to be the restrictions on upload bandwidth. In terms of videoconferencing satellite is still not an option although streaming of video to remote locations is.

The ORION people had a booth and talked about the project. More importantly Lakehead's goal is to maximize use of this big pipe. They are extending offers to local and regional school boards to share the vision, the costs and the benefits. For many there are issues of privacy as the pipe is open to the world where current private networks are viewed secure. The major benefit, something that has been a drawback to video or IP until now, is customers can videoconference to anywhere the network reaches rather than being restricted to the limits of their current private network.


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