Crestron for Education

Webinar: Distance Learning in a Time of Crisis with VSGi and Pexip

This webinar presented by VSGi and Crestron features a brief overview of the Crestron products to help higher education teams preparing strategies for distance learning and returning to campus safely in Fall 2020.


Rahsaan Wood | VSGi
MEEC Specialist and Inside Sales

Joe Cavucci | Crestron
Regional Sales Manager – Education

Antwan Jefferson | Crestron
Regional Sales Manager – Commercial

Manoja Wimalkantha | VSGi
Sales Director

Click here to contact your MEEC contract specialist at VSGi

Webinar Highlights

Join VSGi and Crestron for this webinar for higher education teams who are preparing strategies for distance learning and returning to campus safely in Fall 2020. 

  • New Crestron equipment and service options for higher education
  • How to quickly add unified communication and video conferencing
  • Retrofitting existing classrooms with Crestron Flex R series mobile carts
  • Setting up a touch-less meeting & and presentation experience
  • Crestron’s A+ program (available through VSGi) that allows schools to benefit from preferred pricing and free training

About Crestron

Crestron has been a global leader in AV technology since 1972. A decade ago, the company laid the foundation for Digital Media (DM) and have continued to strive for technical excellence. In 2020, the company received the Human Interface Product of the Year award at CES for its wireless keypads. Today you’ll find Crestron’s innovative technology supporting a wide variety of enterprise, education and government audio visual applications. Learn more

VSGi [Music]

00:11 Rahsaan Wood: For those of you who have joined us for the previous webinars welcome back. For those members who this is your first time, welcome. As the summer approaches a lot of uncertainty lingers about the fall. Will every student be back in the classroom? Will the classroom be half and half, meaning half of the students in the classroom and the other half of students working remotely over a distance learning solution. How can I leverage my existing platform, teams, zoom et cetera? 

00:42 What solutions are available to make my distance learning experience easy and seamless, for our teachers and administration. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had many of these kinds of conversations with our education customers as they prepare for the next school year. That is why this afternoon alongside of Crestron we will discuss these very possibilities and existing robust solutions offered by Creston that are available to each of you. 

01:10 So before we begin and jump right into this information in this webinar, I’d like to go ahead and introduce you to our team. So starting from left to right, starting off with the VSGi team I’m Rahsaan Wood I am the VSGi MEEC Specialist, your go-to point of contact at VSGi for a quote request, projects you have working on I can definitely assist you that is my direct phone number 703-848-2834 that’s my direct line as well as my direct email address and of course the meec@vsgi.com alias you can feel free to send us a email at that alias, there is a team of VSGi sales associates and engineers there that can assist you with any questions that you might have.

01:50 To the right of me from VSGi as well is Manoja Wimalkantha she is the VSGi sales manager she will be handling the chat and question functionality of the webinar. Her direct contact information is there as well. She can be reached at hers at mw@vsgi.com or of course at meec@vsgi.com. 

02:10 So with that imma go ahead and turn it over to our friends at Creston to introduce themselves and get us started with this webinar.

02:17 Joe Cavucci: Hi I’m Joe Cavucci I am the regional sales manager for education which is a plus at Crestron mid-Atlantic. We also have Antwan Jefferson our Crestron regional sales manager for commercial here. 

02:32 I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and thank you very much for taking the time to join us for today’s

webinar. This month’s topic we are talking about returning to work and school. People need to get back to work but when they do, they need to be and feel safe there’s going to be some new protocols set in by facilities, building management, people are going to be getting their temperature taken a lot of new things are going to happen when they just walk in the door.

03:00 We still don’t really know but we need to be prepared to have the conversations. In the education space, there’s a lot of challenges that normal businesses may not face. Teaching large auditorium-style classes providing reliable audio and video across distance learning platforms just to name a few, but ultimately the most important thing is that the teachers have the tools to teach and the students have a safe and reliable space to learn. 03:26 Crestron and our trusted partners like VSGi can help with this through technology and design assistance. We understand there is a lot of uncertainty but hopefully everyone on the call today can walk away with some fresh ideas and confidence that we can move forward post-COVID. Right now we’re all sitting trying to plan for how to get back to work and school and in doing so I think it’s important to think about what that looks like in the fall. 

We believe that we’re looking at a phased approach similar to the way that the economy is reopening, but in this first phase we expect there to be extreme limitations, whether it be smaller classrooms, social distancing, staggered classes and just overall limited collaboration it’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be a change from the normal way of doing things and in this first phase we’ve believed that there’s going to be a main focus on just the critical infrastructure, to support going back to school and work and the two topics there that hit home the most are getting UC enabled spaces quickly, for distance learning and technologies and designs that limit the spread of disease, whether that be zero-touch or low touch spaces, remote management, remote scheduling, remote access for limiting exposure everyone in higher education and below is going to be required to support distance learning in the fall and with assurances that it will meet the standards of the students, teachers and last but not least the parents. 

05:05 Due to restrictions on space and social distancing requirements its more important than ever that there’s flexibility and having solutions that can change quickly and adapt to the rapidly changing environment around us. Today Crestron Flex which is our UC engine can support virtually any UC deployment and easily integrates into existing AV rooms and with pretty much any UC provider. We do this with a bring your own device platform, a native zoom and a native teams offering. 

05:36 Crestron flex is the hub of our distance learning solution and essentially what the rest of our solutions are based around. For example, a brand new solution that was just released most in part due to the higher education space needing a mobile and flexible solution Crestron created the R series. The Crestron R series is brand new, like I said, just launched and it’s an all-in-one mobile solution for the workspace. 

06:05 If you’d like more product information or pricing please feel free to reach out to VSGi. The second critical focus in getting back to school and work is going to be designing and implementing safe spaces to protect our students, with that I’m going to turn it over to Garth Cardell, our technical director to run through some real-life designs and applications to support this

06:28 Garth Cardell: Thanks Joe let’s take a look at this first design which ultimately helps foster a safer return to campus. All right so here room users can reserve the room remotely or at a scheduling panel outside the room, while availability signs can help them

find a space that’s available. Once inside the room’s user can start a zoom meeting present content using voice activation. The IT and AV staff can monitor and manage the equipment in the room the via Xio cloud service which can provide a dashboard for live status or even provide room and device use analytics. 

07:04 Here the user of the room will find that the UC collaboration provides intuitive, reliable and secure communications with those remotely located. Another flavor of the light bar availability side is shown here as well for a more subtle approach to determine the room status and of course, the Poe, one cable solution occupancy sensor gives this room an advantage by providing an automatic startup or shutdown of the room based on the user being present in the room, this is a big one in the plus column for reducing and even eliminating the need to touch common services.

07:37  Another example of occupancy-based activation, this system can be activated simply by entering the room, even without extensive programming the user can enter the room, triggering the wireless presentation device to be selected by default. All right so we’ve talked about some individual room system types here, but they’re really all just a part of the larger enterprise and Crestron knows enterprise deployments. All the rooms in the building here can be bundled under our virtual control allowing for an easy management for IT, thanks to the Xio cloud. 

08:11 This is an example of a room that can be scaled hundreds of times, across the entire enterprise or campus and controlled via our virtual control system VC-4.

08:21 Joe Cavucci: Thank you Garth, we appreciate that, just wanted to say that if you’d like additional information, there’s also additional resources available to you to help you prepare to return to work. All of the solutions that were discussed today are available in our return to work solutions guide, that can be provided to you by VSGi and we also have our new crestron.com backslash flex website which has all of our new product offerings and design tools to help support any of your unified collaboration and distance learning requirements. 

09:00 In addition, another resource that is invaluable to higher education universities and k through 12, is our Crestron A+ partner program. This is an education-only program that gets support and pricing through approved MEEC vendors on all Crestron products. 

09:22 It also provides additional maintenance, technical support, design assistance and an extended five-year warranty, it’s free and you just have to sign up so you know please take advantage of this offering. Just to highlight we talked a little bit about UC today. 

09:40 Crestron has a dedicated support team all-around just unified collaborations and these gentlemen and women here are all a part of this team in their region please feel free to reach out to them directly as well and again Crestron has a team really focused on the education market in the US. We have 18+ partner managers dedicated to serving you and your students so you know, please feel free to reach out at any time with any information or requests needed. And I will turn it back over to Rahsaan, thank you.

10:14 Rahsaan Wood: Okay Joe and Garth thank you guys so much for the presentation all the information you provided members this afternoon, just a quick question for you. I’ve had a couple different questions from customers regarding the Flex R series could you guys maybe dive just a little bit deeper into some of the offerings and options that customers on the education side will have as far as platforms.

10:36 What platforms that are native? Is there a universal where they could be more agnostic? if you could just dive into Flex R just a little bit more. 

10:46 Joe Cavucci: Absolutely that’s no problem Garth would you like to jump in and take that? 

10:51 Garth Cardell: Sure, yeah so the Flex R solution really is just the same solutions you had in a fixed environment, in an installed system in a cart form. Okay, so you have a choice of our Mercury system or a choice of our Soundbar system. Okay those two choices offer both open UC connectivity through our Mercury X device or a more traditional fixed teams or teams experience, but again just like in the room experience these are ones that can be moved around to accommodate distance learning, moving crowds, split classrooms things like that. 

11:32 Rahsaan Wood: Well I don’t think we have had any more questions for the team we can go ahead and move on just to the next slide here and more or less this slide is just a rehash so this is the team from the VSGi side myself Rahsaan Wood I’m your MEEC specialist so if there’s any information that you guys have or questions that you guys, any information that you need or any questions that you might have had about this presentation or any of the solutions that were discussed feel free to contact any one of the people you see on this screen directly. 

12:03 We’re all here to help we all have backgrounds in this industry Joe, Antwan, Garth these guys are the go-to guys at Crestron about this information so feel free to contact any one of us we’re all here to help. We know how important this is to get this right, this fall coming back in you know there’s a lot of uncertainty and that’s why we’re here to help that’s why we’re doing these webinar series so we can get that information in your hands and make sure that when the fall starts you guys are ready to go without any problems at all so feel free to contact us anytime and I would like to thank Crestron once again and everybody for joining us this afternoon.