Ohmi Senior High School Fosters Global Competence Through Multi-Site Collaboration
Ohmi Senior High School, located at the foot of Japan’s national treasure Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture, was established in 1938. The school excels both academically and athletically. It is a frequent representative at national high school sporting competitions, has active cultural clubs, and offers full facilities for educational, sporting and student life on its broad campus. Besides extracurricular activities, the school is also known for having one of the best college preparatory courses in the prefecture. It boasts a high rate of success at getting students into difficult-to-enter national and private universities.
Ohmi Senior High School began studying how to provide newer forms of education around 2019. With diversity required in the curriculum, they decided to establish a new Global Exploration Course. The aim was to nurture students’ ability to be active in the international community and foster global competence. Inspired by examples of the “Future Classroom” by education solution provider Uchida Yoko, the school built its Mirai Lab classroom to realize active learning and multi-site collaboration with people overseas.
The major challenge was how to build an audio system that could reliably pick up even quiet voices in a large classroom, and to enable natural conversation with overseas cooperators who appear on a large video screen. While handheld microphones excel at capturing voices, they are not ideal for two-way conversations. Teachers wanted to bring in students sitting at the side and students who might speak softly because they lack confidence. There was concern that students might tense up if they had to hold a microphone.
Uchida Yoko recommended Shure's MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone as the best option for natural, stress-free conversation. Four MXA910s were installed in the Mirai Lab and adjusted to cover the entire classroom, paired with four IntelliMix P300 DSPs for flexible connectivity. IntelliMix Room Audio Processing Software with AI Denoiser function was further implemented to suppress sudden and distracting noise such as rustling papers that may occur during class.
To test communication in English, Ohmi Senior High School conducted four trial classes and a hands-on session connected with locations such as Uchida Yoko's offices in Hong Kong and a market in Bhutan. Participants were surprised at how naturally they were able to converse.
The MXA910 accurately captures voices spoken at normal and low volume and talkers don’t have to be mindful of the microphone. Teachers also highly appreciate that the classroom is easy to use. Adjusting the audio is unnecessary, there are no problems with hearing people’s voices and no need to worry about class interruptions.
“When we want to do something unique, we now have an environment set up for immediate use. We've already thought of various ideas, such as connecting to classrooms at other schools for joint lessons. It is such outstanding audio equipment, we hope that more-advanced education can be realized as more schools and facilities introduce it."
Mr. Hitoshi Iwatani, Principal, Ohmi Senior High School
|MXA910||4||The new MXA910 with IntelliMix® represents the next evolution in the Microflex® Advance™ Ceiling Array Microphone platform.|
|IntelliMix P300||4||Audio conferencing processor offers IntelliMix DSP algorithms optimized for audio/video conferencing applications.|
|IntelliMix® Room||1||IntelliMix® Room is digital signal processing (DSP) software designed to optimize the performance of Shure networked microphones with videoconferencing software.|