CASE STUDY

From lecture halls to cow sheds: how PTZ cameras are upgrading online education

Integrating PTZ cameras into the modern classroom. Find out how Canon helped Häme University of Applied Sciences develop teaching solutions fit for the 21st century.
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Future-proofing the classroom

As a multidisciplinary higher education institution, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) offers unrivalled degree programmes across its seven campuses in Finland.

With the need to upgrade its remote learning capabilities, HAMK turned to Canon to help integrate live streaming services across its seven campuses.

Client: Häme University of Applied Sciences
Location: Hameenlinna, Finland

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TEEMU Järvenpää, A LECTURER AT HAMK

“We wanted a versatile system to use the PTZ cameras in every kind of situation.”

New cameras for old buildings

For HAMK, a big factor in finding the right equipment was making sure it could work efficiently both in their new state-of-the-art facilities and in their historic buildings built when the university was founded in 1862

Some of these buildings held preserved status so the installation process for any new cameras had to be as inconspicuous.

The lecturers also wanted an easy solution they could operate themselves, as well as offer high-quality visuals and connection for their students learning from home.

“We wanted a versatile system to use [the PTZ cameras] in every kind of situation that we have,” says Teemu Järvenpää, a lecturer at HAMK for more than 15 years.

“This is why we wanted a camera that can be accessed through different kinds of methods. We use NDI and HDMI connections, and in some cases SDI.”

The CR-N300 matched this brief. It is compatible with both NDI and HDMI connections,ensuring seamless flexibility in workflows.

In the newer buildings, each lecturer can control their system autonomously, and the plug and play nature of the PTZ means that they can optimise their productivity with ease.

Lighting also proved an issue, with people often moving from bright light to dark corners during streams. The CR-N300 regains fast focus, which is key for these less favourable spaces.

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Education in 4K

With multiple campuses and a student population of roughly 8,000, at HAMK, the use of online tools is imperative in aiding functional and effective learning.

By integrating Canon CR-N300 PTZ cameras into their teaching, HAMK has managed to advance its educational offering – and not just within lecture halls.

The Hameenlinna campus facilities include state-of-the-art robotics, engineering labs and even cow barns.

These robotic systems allow cows to be voluntarily milked, revolutionising the dairy industry around the world.

The discreet and remote-control capabilities of the CR–N300 via a single RC-IP100 controller meant that a video could be filmed over a 24-hour period without disturbing the cows.

“We wouldn’t allow a cameraman to be in the same room as the cows being milked, so we placed cameras in the space instead,” Teemu explained.

TEEMU Järvenpää, A LECTURER AT HAMK

“The 20x zoom allows us to place the cameras further away without the need to have a tripod that takes up space.”

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A standout feature of the CR-N300 is the ability to maintain flexible production – without the need for an on-site team during live streams – not to mention the large dynamic range in lecture rooms with no professional lighting.

Teemu explains: “Most of the time the lecturers are in old rooms without specific video lighting. The biggest improvement we’ve seen is the picture quality, which is impressive, and the smoothness of operation. We were also surprised to learn it was 4K and full HD.

“Sometimes we want to have a tightly framed image of the lecturer and it can be disturbing to have a camera in your face when giving a presentation to 500 students. The 20x zoom allows us to place the cameras further away without the need to have a tripod that takes up space.”

The integration of Canon PTZ cameras represents the start of a new era for HAMK – giving its staff and its students the capabilities to excel in a digital learning environment. With 40% of their overall intake being mature students, the CR-N300 offers more flexibility in more ways than one. Creating the freedom for students to fit their education around their busy everyday lives.

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