After 2020 brought multiple education disruptions, the University of California Berkeley sought a proven solution to make professors the focus of the classroom again and encourage a more natural interaction in virtual classrooms. They chose McCann Systems to lead them through the design and build process, with the studios being quickly available for staff use in the fall semester.

The Proscenium systems themselves are comprised of hardware and software solutions that can accommodate large sessions of students. Two of the larger Proscenium installations allow 84 students to interact with each other- and the instructor- successfully again. The other rooms are purpose-built for the existing architecture of Chou Hall and the class size, fewer screens for hosting 48 and 60 students.

55″ Sharp and NEC displays can show students two-up for an equitable head size experience, or can be matrixed in a variety of ways. Perspective audio from Extron soundbars mounted directly below the featured active speaker, make a conversation with social cues possible from anywhere in the world. The perspective cameras from Logitech attached to the system reciprocate that interaction on the students’ side, providing the body language of the instructor, and in-room cameras from Vaddio let the users look around the space.

A 75″ touch display from Avocor and 43″ confidence monitors help the instructor further the learning experience, show data from the session, and adjust as necessary. While semi-permanent, the Proscenium units at UC Berkeley are built on rolling Peerless structures and mounts that could allow reinstallation in any room, along with the QA cart and control equipment from Crestron. The systems feature two-way engagement from Barco’s weConnect platform, an interactive, flexible tool for featuring the university’s main asset- the instructor.

McCann Systems continues to be a leader in advancing distance learning technologies. To find out more about how your team members, students, or faculty could benefit from a connected studio environment, learn more about Proscenium here.