How the Pennington School Uses the Whiteboard Owl for More Inclusive Hybrid Learning

Pennington School Case Study Featured Image - Whiteboard Owl - Instructor presenting on Whiteboard

The Pennington School

525 students, 112 faculty

KEY RESULTS

  • Enabled hybrid learning and whiteboarding during the 2020-2021 school year

  • Increased attendance at parent-teacher conferences, club meetings and guest speaker presentations

  • Supported hybrid faculty and administrative meetings

Schedule a Demo

The Pennington School is an independent coeducational boarding and day school located in Pennington, New Jersey. Like many other schools around the world, when quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, The Pennington School had to quickly adapt their classroom technology to enable hybrid learning to support their students and faculty during the 2020-2021 school year.

After first purchasing the original Meeting Owl in 2018 to support hybrid faculty and administrative meetings in one of their conference rooms, The Pennington School’s Director of Technology, Kenneth Coakley, heard from faculty and the administrative team that meetings felt more intuitive and natural.

'With the Meeting Owl, it felt like everyone was sitting around a table talking together, which was a great experience for our teachers and administrators.'

When the pandemic hit in early 2020 and Kenneth had to figure out how to outfit the school’s classrooms for remote and hybrid learning, he explored other video conferencing options from Logitech, Kandao and Neat, but was quickly sold on the Meeting Owl, and purchased 60 Meeting Owls to equip all classrooms on campus.

'Nothing else matches the Meeting Owl in terms of features, price and ease of use. It’s an all-in-one camera, speaker and mic, which means it’s easy for our teachers to set up and use so they don’t have to worry about getting complex systems to work together.'

In the classroom, Meeting Owls were mounted onto tripods so teachers could easily move them around the classroom when needed. The Meeting Owl Pro’s Smart Mics and tri-speaker also ensured that sound was clear and loud for those in the classroom and joining remotely.

Some of the Meeting Owl’s newest features have been particularly helpful for The Pennington School’s teachers.

'Our teachers love using Presenter Enhance so they can move around the room and teach the way they’ve always taught, instead of having to completely modify their style to support remote and in-person students.'

Teachers also like disabling the 360° Pano strip when it’s not needed to show more of the classroom speakers for remote participants, and they use the Meeting Owl app on their in-room iPads to quickly access features and settings on the Dashboard View when they’re in the middle of a classroom discussion.

'It was clear that Owl Labs was listening to their education customers throughout 2020. They made regular improvements and added new features throughout the year, and the experience has only got better since we started using Meeting Owl Pros in our classrooms.'

When Kenneth heard about the newest product from Owl Labs – the Whiteboard Owl – he purchased it to test out in classrooms with a few faculty members to see if it could be a good addition to their hybrid learning tech stack.

'Our teachers loved the Whiteboard Owl, particularly our maths teachers who were lost without the whiteboard during the previous school year. The magnetic tags to turn the Whiteboard Owl on are easy to use and don’t disrupt the lesson, and students liked being able to still see the teacher while they were writing on the board with the Whiteboard Enhance feature.'

Additionally, Kenneth anticipates that the Whiteboard Capture feature will make it easier for students to study and for teachers to share meeting recordings and study guides by automatically capturing whiteboard images.

There were other aspects of campus life that improved when The Pennington School shifted to hybrid that Kenneth wants to continue when students return to campus for the 2021-2022 school year.

'Our parents loved doing parent-teacher conferences from home, and the rate of attendance increased significantly when parents could attend remotely instead of driving to campus after work. Additionally, our clubs were able to continue holding events throughout the pandemic, and we were able to bring guest speakers in remotely to address our students.'

Ultimately, Kenneth wants to make sure The Pennington School is as prepared for hybrid collaboration as possible – even if they don’t always need it.

'We’re taking the lessons we learned from the pandemic and using them to improve our offerings so we’re prepared for anything in the future.'

The Meeting Owl and the Whiteboard Owl enable any classroom for engaging and immersive hybrid learning where all students can participate and teachers can easily manage their technology.

See it to believe it

Read these too

Stockholm University

How Stockholm University uses the Meeting Owl for user-friendly hybrid meetings

Lake Superior State University

How LSSU uses the Whiteboard Owl to keep remote students engaged

University of Minnesota

How the University of Minnesota Uses the Meeting Owl to stay connected