Arizona State University, located in metropolitan Phoenix, is one of the largest universities in the country with nearly 60,000 students at four separate campuses. ASU provides comprehensive programs in instruction, research, and creative activity, with the goal of becoming a world-class university in a multi-campus setting.
The student population at ASU continues to grow, which led to the necessity of the new classroom and administration building, Lattie F. Coor Hall, named in honor of ASU’s 15th president. The building created much-needed new space for classrooms, survey research, and offices and is equipped with two state-of-the-art mediated classrooms, as well as a new IT computing site.
As you can imagine, technology is a sizable undertaking at a campus as large as ASU, and it wasn’t always streamlined. Prior to the opening of Coor Hall there were many instances when a professor was forced to learn a different technology every time they taught in a new classroom. This would sometimes lead to a frustrating and embarrassing experience for the professors and it would consume the students’ valuable class time.
This issue also created a challenge for ASU’s IT personnel who responded to urgent calls and walk-ins from frantic professors. These professors needed immediate help with their classroom technology as they oftentimes had 200 students waiting to hear the lecture that they had worked hard to prepare. Technology training for the instructors was also difficult because the classrooms had differing set-ups and equipment. ASU’s teachers and IT staff understood the tremendous benefits of projectors and other technology in the classroom. But how could ASU simplify their classroom technology to enhance learning in a simple, streamlined environment?
The university has been using NEC technology on their campus for a number of years, along with other competitor’s projectors. Sean Snitzer, Senior Technology Support Analyst at ASU, reports that over time it became apparent to him and his team that the best decision for the students, professors and the university as a whole was to standardize their buildings with only NEC projectors. They were confident that NEC would continue to outperform its competitors with clear, bright images, and with nearly no maintenance.
CCS Presentations Systems, an audio/visual integrator who has worked with ASU for 13 years, was instrumental in installing and wiring the NEC projectors. CCS also alerted ASU to an incredible opportunity to save money through NEC’s involvement in the SMARTer Kids Foundation grant program. This program helps educational institutions obtain high-tech equipment for their classrooms at more affordable levels. NEC is a sponsor of the SMARTer Kids Foundation program, and the only large area display company to participate. Snitzer attributes the technology grants that NEC offered with enabling ASU to standardize with NEC.
“We chose NEC projectors for the Coor building since they offered increased stability as well as common features and control in both medium and large venue projectors,” revealed Snitzer. “We needed a product that could clearly show very large images from the back of the room. We have screening events and theater and humanities classes that show movies, so we wanted exceptional resolution. In our nearly 300 seat auditorium, we have three NEC products projecting side by side, and the visuals are breathtaking!”
Many classrooms at ASU are now not only equipped with an NEC projector, but multiple NEC projectors in one room. These NEC projectors are high resolution and are perfect for environments such as large classrooms that require a precise, detailed display. The automatic wall color correction is another popular feature on the projector as it enhances the color and contrast of the image no matter if it is displayed on a wall or a screen. In Coor Hall, 25 classrooms are outfitted with two NEC projectors each, while the auditorium has three NEC projectors working side by side. The professors find using multiple projectors to be as easy as using just one and they like the fact that they can control multiple devices from one panel.
“Our IT staff is receiving great feedback regarding the NEC projectors, and our professors’ love how fool-proof the technology is versus other brands,” said Snitzer. “Professors find that the NEC projectors are so easy to use that they can now begin class with just a quick touch of a button! Even the students are eager to use them to make their oral presentations come alive.”
NEC’s projectors are making lives easier for ASU professors and IT personnel - but the real winners are the ASU students. Now, the students at ASU are learning more information each semester, as class time is better managed and runs more efficiently!