The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison enhanced its virtual classroom experience with the installation of Owl 360° cameras in more than 50 classrooms last week. The Technology Department installed Owls in classrooms of all three divisions.

According to the Owl website, “Any classroom becomes a hybrid classroom with the Meeting Owl, the smart conference camera that captures 360° video and audio for engaging distance learning. Powered by the Owl Intelligence System™, the Meeting Owl automatically shifts the camera to focus on whoever is speaking. The result is an experience that nearly feels like sitting in the classroom.”

W+H teachers are conducting synchronous (live) instruction with in-person students, but the use of Owl 360° camera systems allows students in remote learning to connect to live lessons either from home or from another location on campus to allow for social distancing. This also facilitates interaction between students who are learning in different locations.

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“The OWL system helps to foster engagement between students at home and their peers and teachers in the classroom by offering an interactive experience that allows all learners to feel more connected to their classes in real time. It uses voice and motion tracking simultaneously to pivot to whomever is speaking and offering a 180-degree view of the entire room along the top frame while one or more speakers are viewable. This impressive technology is one tool which helps to build relationships across the distance between home and school.,” said Dr. Corinna Crafton, Middle School Head and Dean of Teaching and Learning.

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School (1295 Inman Ave., N. Edison) is Central Jersey’s premier PreK-12 independent school. The campus is located near the Scotch Plains border and just five miles from downtown Westfield. It is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school that prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. Wardlaw+Hartridge provides an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community. To take a virtual tour of the school, visit www.whschool.org/admission/take-a-virtual-tour