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School Builds Strong Foundation for Digital Learning with ViewSonic Education Solutions

CASE STUDY

School Builds Strong Foundation for Digital Learning with ViewSonic Education Solutions

SCHOOL

Foundations for the Future Charter Academy (FFCA) has had a long-standing reputation for academic leadership. Today, it operates eight campuses within the city of Calgary, including four elementary, two middle and two high schools. Technology innovation has played an integral role for FFCA in both student development and academic success.

“Our results are consistently above the provincial average,” says Jeff Cullen, Director of Technology for Foundations for the Future Charter Academy. He attributes part of that success to the school’s investments in the latest visual learning technology for its eight campuses, all of which are now equipped with the ViewSonic® ViewBoard® Interactive Displays and the myViewBoard® digital learning platform.

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“The upgrade to ViewSonic is our most recent, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Teacher adoption and student engagement is high, and the future looks very bright.”


— Jeff Cullen, FFCA Director of Technology

CHALLENGE

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  • Replace outdated SMART Board systems

  • Ambient light in various classrooms necessitated high-brightness solution

  • Existing maintenance costs and licensing fees were high

FFCA recently completed a major technology upgrade which included the replacement of outdated visual technology and equipment, including 15-year-old projector/SMART Board systems. Image brightness was difficult to achieve in various classroom settings, and maintenance costs and licensing fees were high. The systems also required a lot of manual calibration which was difficult and time consuming for the IT team to manage. “If the walls weren’t completely straight, they didn’t work,” said Cullen.

The search for replacement technology began immediately after a ceiling had collapsed at its North Calgary campus building and students had to be relocated to a remote building in the south end of the city. The decision to deploy ViewSonic® ViewBoard® interactive displays for the temporary building was an easy one for FFCA because of the cost savings from easier maintenance along with robust remote management features.

“We settled on ViewSonic and moved the ViewBoard displays into the new high school as quickly as we could because we had only a few days to get everything done. The set up was easy and given the success of that installation, we chose ViewSonic as the established standard for all of our campuses moving forward,” said Cullen.

SOLUTION

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  • 170 ViewSonic® ViewBoard® IFP8650 interactive displays

  • myViewBoard software suite Manager Advanced software provided remote device management

Changing classroom learning technologies can create resistance on the part of teachers, Cullen notes. “For teachers, their classrooms are their offices. That’s where they work and live each day.”

But that wasn’t the case with the ViewSonic® myViewBoard® ecosystem, he adds. “When the first ViewBoard displays were installed, the teachers dove into the software, and many have begun to transition their SMART Board Notebook files over to the new myViewBoard platform.”

In the summer of 2022, FFCA’s team completed the replacement of all its SMART systems with 170 ViewBoard interactive displays. Moving from the older SMART Boards has delivered considerable advantages for the schools – from easy maintenance, to portability, to remote management and wireless casting.

“We don’t have to worry about alignment and bulb replacement anymore, and we don’t have to pay licensing fees. We also have much more flexibility because the myViewBoard software allows for wireless casting and screen sharing,” said Cullen.

A key feature for Cullen is remote device management capabilities. “With Manager Advanced, I can centrally manage our entire network. I can see everything across the network and push out updates remotely. This has solved a lot of issues for us.”

As teachers work with myViewBoard, Cullen reports that the uptake ranges from straightforward whiteboard functions to more advanced digital learning applications.

“For example, at the elementary school level there was lot of excitement over the integrated reader and translation software and how easy it is to use in teaching phonics and literacy. Elementary teachers are usually the hardest to impress. But when we showed them these new software features, there were ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.”

FFCA also plans to install another 40 ViewBoard displays in one of its newest campuses which is scheduled to open in North Calgary in the Spring of 2024. With this school, Cullen says they are taking technology innovation a step further. “We plan to take a very mobile approach for our computer and learning labs, and are working with the idea of using a virtual approach. For this campus, most of the ViewSonic ViewBoards will be all mounted on mobile carts.”

Over his 13 years at FFCA, Cullen says he has overseen three technology refreshes. “The upgrade to ViewSonic is our most recent, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Teacher adoption and student engagement is high, and the future looks very bright.”

RESULTS

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  • No need for bulb replacement or licensing fees with ViewBoard interactive displays

  • Teachers didn’t lose any of their existing lessons thanks to easy and direct importing of legacy SMART Notebook files

  • myViewBoard software enabled easy maintenance, portability and wireless casting

Since its technological evolution, Splitsville has delivered on its promise to bring a state-of-the-art bowling entertainment experience to a new generation of customers.

"ViewSonic digital signage, projection systems, and large format displays are now front and center in every area of every Splitsville facility, serving up music, sports, event reminders and acknowledgements, celebratory notices, advertising, and business presentations," said Haggerty.

“The instant gratification of digital has been a big tool for getting people out,” said Haggerty. “Also, adding more visual richness to our ads has moved people to buy more food, more quickly.”

The first location to undergo an overhaul quadrupled its earnings within two-and-a-half years, said Haggerty. “It took about eight months for it to get its sea legs, but after that, everything came together.”

The sites have become a popular draw for activities outside of bowling, from party bookings to business meetings. “People can even do PowerPoint presentations over the lanes if they like. With one push of the button they can have all screens showing the same input,” said Haggerty.

Plans are in the works to add interactive touchscreen capabilities to displays at the individual bowling lanes to enable sign up, scorekeeping, points collection, and messaging.

Now armed with a proven concept with definitive results, Haggerty has his eyes on expansion into the U.S.

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