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CWU represented in international classroom video-technology study

CWU Science II classroomStaples of the “old school,” chalk boards and white boards have been replaced by video display screens in thousands of elementary, middle-and-junior high, high school, and college classrooms across the nation. 

However, research determined that many students, in traditional 900-square-foot classrooms, were not able to decipher all of content shown on flat panels, even as big as nearly six feet in size, a fact found to put student learning at risk.

Central Washington University was represented on a select group of the international leaders convened to develop recommendations to overcome the issue.

InfoComm International, a worldwide trade association that represents the professional audiovisual and information communications industries, selected qualified field professionals to come up with strategies.

Steve Douglas, recently retired after 33 years at CWU, was one of just two university media systems engineers selected for the nine-member international panel.

“In larger classrooms we determined the problem was even worse,” noted Douglas, “as more students are placed farther away from even 12-foot-wide projection screens.”

The group concluded that current display size recommendations—which were not research based—were no longer adequate. In response, Douglas and his counterparts crafted a new “Display Image Size for 2D Content in Audiovisual Systems” (DISCAS), which has been published as a proposed requirement by the American National Standards Institute.

As interactive classroom systems become the norm, they may need to offer images much larger than 70 inches. The good news is that cost estimates indicate that, for schools now in the midst of changing their technology, projection systems can actually be less costly than flat-panel video displays, Douglas noted.    

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487,

October 19, 2016


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