Located in Madya Pradesh, the Indian Institute of Technology (also known as IIT Indore) was established in 2009. It is one of eight new IITs started by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. Like many educational institutions, the pandemic accelerated its transition into a blended learning model. Recently, IIT Indore integrated new networked AV and UC systems into 50 of its classrooms and surrounding office spaces, relying on Dante-enabled Xilica Solaro QR1 small-form-factor DSPs for audio processing and management.
Blended learning models require that physical and remote students receive an engaging learning experience in equal measure to ensure success.
“Relationships and collaboration matter to students. It’s especially critical to help remote students feel like participants and not just an audience. This is the only way to establish that class community feeling with a blended learning model,” said Anshuman Dubey, Product Manager, Business Communications for Sennheiser India, which served as the primary AV distributor on the project.
While most AV systems inside the classroom contribute to that success, it is absolutely mandatory to empower remote learners with crisp, intelligible audio quality. Along with the improvements that DSP technology brings to audio clarity, advanced applications such as noise reduction further optimize the classroom’s acoustical environment for students at home.
IIT opted for a Xilica Solaro Q1 DSP in each of the 50 classrooms, ensuring that every space had a dedicated system finely tuned to the unique acoustic environment. Xilica’s integrated Dante functionality simplifies the management and routing of digital signals across the building. Xilica’s modular I/O ensures seamless scalability for future audio applications, and provides an open architecture that renders it future-proof.
The Solaro QR1’s compact footprint, IT-friendly architecture and intuitive programmability empowered the integration team to localize each DSP for minimal space occupancy, while routing audio streams expertly across the space using Dante to each endpoint. The Solaro QR1 integrates with the school’s Poly videoconferencing systems and assortment of Sennheiser microphones.
“Sometimes getting all students onto the same video call isn’t practical in larger classrooms, but the easily programmable Xilica DSP processors, Sennheiser microphones, and tools like Microsoft Teams allow for real-time conversation and collaboration without requiring a temporary audio/video set-up every time,” said Dubey.
This was IIT Indore’s first foray into AV and unified communications, during a period when teachers and students have been forced to quickly adapt to blended learning. The institution’s new systems, configured to accommodate users with little technical skill, simplified the transition. Instructors rapidly grew comfortable with the technology, and the high-quality audio, free of delays and connection glitches, results in seamless communication. The school reports remarkable improvement in student engagement.