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Magewell Capture Devices Expand Connectivity for WolfVision-Powered Active Learning Space at London Business School

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Magewell Capture Devices Expand Connectivity for WolfVision-Powered Active Learning Space at London Business School
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London Business School (LBS) was established in 1964 and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading business schools. Focused on postgraduate business education, the school offers MBA, Masters and PhD degrees, as well as a selection of short courses designed for executives.

More than 12,000 students and executives from around the globe participate in the school’s renowned degree and Executive Education programmes each year, with over 45,000 alumni from 155 countries having earned degrees at LBS’ unique, multicultural learning environment. Collaboration and innovation are crucial in achieving the school’s goals of helping individuals thrive while having profound impacts on the way the world does business and the way business affects the world.

The Challenge

In 2018, LBS started planning a new active learning classroom at its flagship Regent’s Park campus in the heart of London. Cooperating closely with integrator GV Multimedia, the school created a pilot space where they could install and evaluate technologies from multiple vendors. Following months of extensive testing, LBS chose WolfVision’s vSolution MATRIX, an AV over IP based collaboration solution.

vSolution MATRIX uses multiple WolfVision Cynap and Cynap Core collaboration and wireless presentation devices to stream video and audio between multiple screens over standard network infrastructure. LBS’ vSolution MATRIX installation comprises two Cynap Core units at each of 16 dual-screen student workstations, together with one main Cynap system for the lecturer and an additional Cynap unit for recording purposes.

LBS’ active learning classroom can be used in two different configurations. In Classroom Mode, the lecturer runs the session for the entire room, and can push digital content out to the left, right or both screens at all student stations in the room. In Student Mode, students can collaborate locally, using the workstations independently of the main teaching station.

‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) is encouraged at LBS, and the students use a variety of smartphones, laptops and tablets in the active learning classroom. While the Cynap Core units offer flexible wireless connectivity – including native support for AirPlay, Miracast and Chromecast mirroring protocols – the school also wanted students to be able to connect laptops and other devices via wired HDMI connections as desired. The main Cynap configuration at the lecturer desk includes two HDMI inputs, but no such interfaces are built into the Cynap Core units at the student workstations.

The Solution

WolfVision recommended Magewell’s plug-and-play USB Capture HDMI external video grabbers to provide the reliable HDMI connectivity LBS sought.

Featuring broad signal compatibility and automatic input format detection for exceptional ease of use, the Magewell devices enable the vSolution MATRIX system to bring in HDMI sources through the Cynap Core units’ standard USB 3.0 port. Each of LBS’ 32 Cynap Core systems is now equipped with its own USB Capture HDMI device.

The Benefits

Hidden inside the student workstations atop the Cynap Core units with only the connected HDMI cable visible to users, the Magewell devices have performed flawlessly and transparently in serving the hundreds of participants that utilize the active learning space each week.

“Magewell's USB Capture HDMI devices have worked seamlessly with WolfVision's Cynap Core units to enable students to use HDMI sources as an alternative to wireless sharing for interacting with our active learning collaboration platform,” said Wayne Buttigieg, Head of Infrastructure and Media Services at LBS. “Our experience with Magewell has been very positive. The devices are simple to use, and we have found them to be extremely reliable.”

Most importantly, the collaborative learning system is bringing the desired educational benefits to the school, it’s faculty and its students. “From the students and faculty I’ve worked with, the feedback has been nothing but positive,” said Michele Asbury, Associate Director of Learning Innovation and Design, London Business School. “They love what it can do for their lectures, and they are enjoying the feedback they’re getting from students because it is hugely positive – but also for the impact that they’re making.”