Space in the Spotlight: World-Class Restaurant Lab at Florida International University

AVI-SPL is a proud FLEXspace Silver Sponsor. Here’s an example of how they’re bringing innovative technologies and solutions to improve learning spaces in higher education. 

MISSION: AN EDGE ON THE JOB MARKET

The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University gives students hands-on experience in restaurant management as they prepare for careers in the hospitality industry.  “Technology is important to us in all that we do,” says Mike Hampton, dean of the Chaplin school. “If we’re going to have a world-class hospitality program, we have to have world-class facilities.”

This facility, featuring Crestron, Chief, Panasonic, and Polycom, is a space where video and audio technology helps teachers keep track of student performance, brings remote locations together for distance learning, and gives students an advantage over their counterparts at other schools. In the kitchen, students gather around HD displays to watch distance-learning instruction and video conference with other groups of students and teachers. The Polycom video conferencing system connects the FIU lab with culinary schools in Ireland and China so participants can share content. The cameras, which blend with the architecture, capture all the activity throughout the lab for the video conferences, and function as 24/7 surveillance.

During a video conferencing session, students and guests can ask questions of those at the remote site. While a chef at a dining table gives a demonstration, a presenter annotates those images using the interactive 24-inch Crestron panel from a custom-built lectern, and shares them on the large display over the bar.  Presenters can also annotate content using four Crestron touch panels (including two wireless units). Four Crestron Capture HD units enable instructors to record their lectures in real time, and make them available for live streaming and downloading. Thin-profile wall mounts by Chief make it easy for the displays to be serviced. (Read the article here, or download the PDF case study here.)