Project: Haileybury, Melbourne CBD Campus
Scope: Multiple Epson EB-595Wi ultra short throw projectors; Epson G-Series projectors
Consultation, Integration & Installation:
With the growth in inner city living comes the need for inner city education.
Back in 2013 Haileybury College purchased a hi-rise city building opposite Flagstaff Gardens in the Melbourne CBD. The aim: to provide a primo education option, pre-school to Year 12, for inner-city dwellers and international students.
In 2014 Haileybury established an early learning centre on the ground floor. This was followed by junior school spaces ready for the 2016 academic year. In 2016, three levels of middle school classes came together along with the boardroom level on the top floor.
TECH: ALL CLASS
It’s not every day that a big school embarks on such a large project involving so much AV and IT. As manager of all of Haileybury’s AV and IT, Dale Eaton rode shotgun from the get-go. It was clear he was looking to standardise his equipment spec and have a sense of what tech a classroom would include for the next five years or more.
“It was about minimising variation,” Dale summarises. “We standardised a lot of the rooms with the AV kit to make it easier. Across the four campuses we have more than 600 teaching spaces to look after. So when they were all so varied, it was a serious problem. We’re now working towards standardising each campus as we go through an annual rolling refresh program.”
Projection or LCD? What was to be the principal classroom presentation tech? It occupied the brains of Dale Eaton and his team more than most decisions.
"In discussions three years ago there was a lot of talk about putting panels up everywhere. During our research, we discovered that Epson was bringing out the EB595 ultra short-throw projector which gave us the interactivity we were after. We felt that was the right combination – mature, proven technology, in the Epson projection; and the very latest interactivity.
We’ve immediately seen the benefits in classes such as those in the music department — writing musical notes on the board, then routing it straight back to the computer to be saved. From there the teacher can pop the next lesson up on the board and they’re building a valuable stockpile of materials and resources as they go."
"The Epson 595 projectors has taken us way beyond simply projecting onto a screen. The students coming through from junior school are accustomed to interactivity, and that interactivity brings educational advantages."
How important is it to the school to be perceived as a technological innovator?
"It’s one of the main goals of the school. We want to be on the cutting edge of technology but we’re also happy to take our turn – we have no desire to be on the bleeding edge — it’s worth learning from other people’s mistakes and successes, and roll that into something we can develop and deploy ourselves.
We’re constantly appraising new product, the fully-interactive touch panels, presentation recording products and the like. But testing and appraising is different to installing into a classroom."
COOKIE CUTTING EDGE
Now that the classroom AV spec has been agreed on, adding classrooms is administratively a smooth process as well as taking the headache out of the design process. Working with long-term electrical and AV contractor, Macmor, and relying on product such as the Epson EB595Wi, the rolling out of new spaces could hardly be easier.
"It’s a case of: here’s a new room, raise a purchase order and say ‘go make it look the rest of them’. It’s all about removing variation. It really is."