Lake Washington School District Students Hear Clearly with Help from Califone

Case Study:
Lake Washington School District
Lake Washington, Washington

Five years ago, Lake Washington School District (LWSD), located east of Seattle, was looking to install new technologies that would better serve its increasingly more digital-savvy student population. Approximately 2,000 educators and more than 23,500 students, including a growing number of English-language learners, were asking for new ways to utilize technology within the walls of their 49 high-performing schools.

District decision-makers found during research that visual learning tools, such as projectors, improved student participation and held attention for longer periods of time. After installing a projector system that would allow educators to use DVDs, VHS tapes, computers and streaming video, the next step was to find the appropriate audio component.

LWSD was looking for a cost-effective, high-quality speaker that would supply ample sound to the entire classroom. Decision-makers also required that the system be easy-to-use, durable and flexible enough for everyday classroom use. In addition to complimenting the projector system, the speaker also would be used for the district’s upcoming initiative to provide teacher-voice reinforcement.

Through the guidance of Troxell Communications, a leading audio-visual distributor, LWSD chose the wired PresentationPro (PA310) speaker developed by Califone International, the premier manufacturer of high-quality audio-visual technology for academic and professional use, as the classroom audio component.

“We decided to go with the PresentationPro speaker as its quality and volume allowed us to only have to install one unit per classroom,” said Steve Lewey, Project Manager for LWSD. “With competing products, we would need two speakers, which would ultimately increase the cost of installation and maintenance. In addition, the speakers were offered at a very attractive price point.”

The PresentationPro speaker would provide LWSD educations with high-quality audio support, while seamlessly connecting to LCD projectors, interactive whiteboards, multimedia players, DVD/VCRs & computers for enhanced visual and audio learning.

“Califone also worked with us to provide the correct amount of product each month as opposed to purchasing the entire consignment at the beginning and having to forfeit the cost of storage,” Lewey continued.

The installation period began in 2004 with the goal of completing at least two schools each month. Ultimately, a PresentationPro speaker from Califone was installed in each of the district’s 1,500 classrooms by the 2006-2007 school year.

Fifteen hundred units were installed throughout the district with more than a 99% success rate. Lewey and his team have found the speakers to be both tough and durable. They were able to easily mount the speakers on top of built-in cabinetry, saving costs on ceiling-mounts and allowing easy access for when they roll out their voice amplification program.

“The speaker is not overly complex, which allows our staff to easily connect to other products using its multiple audio-in jacks. This gives us a great amount of flexibility,” explained Lewey.

Lewey described an example of two classroom educators that would frequently open their two rooms into one larger room. It is easy for his team to connect the two speakers to accommodate the bigger space, and then return to a single-room speaker configuration.

“The PresentationPro speakers have not only met, but have exceeded our expectations,” Lewey concluded.

PresentationPro speakers from Califone International are available as installed or portable, wired or wireless, and can be used for indoor or outdoor functions. One unit accepts one wireless and two wired microphones at the same time, offers a 16 channel UHF microphone receiver and has a line output to additional wired speakers for larger presentations. Complete wired and wireless systems include one PresentationPro speaker, a wireless volume/mute remote control with a choice of a hands-free or handheld wireless microphone, and an optional tripod and hard or soft carrying case.

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