Expert Technology Planning and Solutions in Education
Case Study – Archbishop Spalding High School Severn, Maryland
Mid-Atlantic Control Systems, LLC (MCS) has been working with Archbishop Spalding High School (ASHS) for almost two years. This historic High School tasked MCS with a range of technology requirements and challenges. Technology upgrades were needed in the existing school buildings as well as for a new project that was already underway. The new Arts & Technology Center, which was under construction at the time, needed a comprehensive technology plan for the classrooms and teaching areas. Some of these requirements needed additional planning, in the words of Dr Murphy, President at ASHS "We were looking for a new and dynamic way to communicate with the entire Archbishop Spalding Community; students, teachers, parents, visitors, in fact everyone. Brendan at MCS came up with an excellent digital signage solution – it’s just what we were looking for". MCS helped ASHS identify the problems in detail and helped them plan and provide technological solutions tailored to education and their school community for now and into the future.
This multi-year plan has 3 Phases:-
Phase I – Complete
Phase I included: full audit of existing technology; analysis of current and future requirements; establishment of plan; plan implementation.
- Ten (10) new classrooms in the Arts and Technology wing were outfitted with ceiling mounted projectors, drop down projector screens, DVD players and speaker systems to enhance the learning experience.
- Eight (8) new CCTV Security cameras and wiring were installed in and around the new Arts & Technology wing to provide added protection.
- Four (4) new LCD monitors and Digital Signage hardware/software were provided and installed in different areas of the new and existing buildings, as an additional means of communicating with the whole school community.
Phase II – Completed
Phase II included: continued plan implementation; training and support on software and hardware on new and existing installations; continued plan review and adjustment
- Sixteen (16) Existing "mobile" interactive white boards and projectors were permanently mounted in classrooms along with the addition of speaker systems to bring existing classrooms up to the same high standards as the new Arts and Technology wing.
- Fourteen (14) Additional CCTV security cameras were installed in and around the existing building for added coverage.
- Four (4) Additional message boards were added to the digital signage network to expand the reach within the school
Phase III – scheduled completion beginning of 2011/2012 academic year
- (16) Additional mobile interactive white boards, projectors and speaker systems will be added and installed in the remaining classrooms.
- All classrooms will be fitted with projectors, screens and audio equipment, 75% of those classrooms will also have interactive white boards.
- Fourteen (14) additional CCTV security cameras will be installed in and around the campus for added coverage
- Three (3) Additional message boards will be added to the digital signage network to expand the reach within the school
It doesn’t stop there. After the hardware is installed, many equipment providers leave. But, continued training for the staff and particularly for any new staff is an important part of the full service provided by MCS. New technology is only as good as the competence and knowledge of the user. At many schools, the technology is installed, but because of a lack of continued training, the technology is under utilized or unevenly used as some staff members embrace it and others never become comfortable with it. The goal of MCS is to work with the technology department to assist them in staying ahead of the technology curve and to maximize the potential of the technology.
MCS will continue to provide software training for digital signage, planning input and technology support for the technology department. Chris and Brendan Mannix were invited to be part of the Technology Committee at Archbishop Spalding where they provide advice and planning support on all the technological requirements at the school. Brendan Mannix commented "What typically happens is that the school’s IT department is called to deal with any technology problems that may arise, interactive white boards, projector issues etc. If for some reason they are unable to solve them, the next call is to us. We are essentially the second line of defense."
"What I find refreshing about working with Chris, Brendan and the team at Mid-Atlantic Control is that they solve problems rather than sell products. With their help we have developed a technology plan for the next few years which also fits within our budget. I’m confident Mid-Atlantic will support us through the whole process". Dr Michael E. Murphy, President, Archbishop Spalding HS, MD