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St. Jude School, Ohio, updates technology for remote learners

Following social distancing guidelines, St. Jude School in Elyria, Ohio, sought to improve their remote learning tools. Thanks to Konftel, who developed and implemented a plan catered to their needs, they were up and running quickly. Students participate in real-time with their classmates while remote learning from home. 

Doug Hopiard, Director of IT and Integration at St. Judes School, thinks it is a big advantage for the school to have easy-to-use One Cable Connection-solutions from Konftel.

St. Jude School is a Catholic school comprised of about 480 students located in Elyria, Ohio, ranging from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March 2020, the Governor mandated all schools close their doors, sending students home to distance learn. At the end of August 2020, the St. Jude School was able to open with two learning options for their families. 

"We now have approximately 75 percent of students attending daily, and 25 percent choosing to learn remotely. We wanted to accommodate and support the students and parents who chose remote learning, and that's where the Konftel solutions come in," says Doug Hopiard, Director of IT and Integration at St. Jude School.  

Upgraded learning tools

St. Jude School upgraded its remote learning tools with the first set of Konftel solutions. The package consists of two different camera models, the Konftel Cam20 and the Konftel Cam50, along with electronic SMART boards, projectors, and Google Meet, as a part of Google Suite for Education. The remote learners are prominently displayed on a secondary, 32" monitor for the teachers and class to see and interact. Some classrooms have even upgraded to Viewsonic boards – large, 65" LCD television panels.

With the Konftel Cam20 mounted in the ceiling, the remote students get the same view as the students in the classroom.

 

"This technology allows our teachers to connect with students at home, which in turn allows the children to receive instruction in real-time along with their classmates," says Doug Hopiard. "It's been working great. The teachers, the parents, and the students at home are pleased with these enhanced learning tools," he continues.

It's been an adjustment for the teachers to manage teaching both remotely and on-site simultaneously, but things are falling into place, Doug Hopiard adds.  

A teacher at St. Judes School in Elyria, Ohio, gives thumbs up to her remote students through one of the school’s fifteen Konftel C5055Wx solutions with both camera and speakerphone.

 

One cable

"The largest advantage Konftel offered St. Jude School is a streamlined solution with one cable that connects all devices. The speaker, microphone, camera, and auxiliary monitor are connected to the teacher's laptop with the hub from Konftel. It made it very easy to install, and we were able to get it up and running very quickly," he says.

When implementing any form of remote learning, the challenge is ensuring that all children have access to a good wireless network, which isn't guaranteed for everyone in the US. That being considered, Doug Hopiard recommends other schools to look into a setup like the one being used here at St. Jude's.

"It was so easy to set up and so far, is very easy to maintain. Our sales representative from Konftel has also been present throughout the process and supported us every step along the way," Doug Hopiard adds.  

Equipment
• Two Konftel analog DECT bases
• Eight Konftel C2055
• Konftel Daisy-Chain Cables
• One Konftel C50800
• Two Konftel PoE Injectors
• Two Konftel 800
• Two Konftel 55
• Two Konftel C50300Wx Hybrid
• Two Cam20
• Fifteen Konftel C5055Wx

Important for St. Jude School
• Ability to support the teacher's laptops in with the smart boards and a secondary monitor through the one cable connection hub. 
• An easy solution with everything packaged in easy kits. 
• Good sound and video for both the teachers and the students. 
About St. Jude School
The school was established in 1943 in the northeast corner of Elyria with Father John A. Carrabine as its first pastor. The students come from a wide area and various cities around Elyria. St. Jude School is endorsed by the state of Ohio as an EdChoice, Expansion, Jon Peterson, and Autism Scholarship school. In addition to serving the almost 500 students both in the building and remote, the school employs 50 full-time teachers, intervention specialists, related academic teachers, administrators, and 40 aides and support staff personnel.

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