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The largest classroom in the world

Uzwil, 09/28/2012 – A four-month stay abroad in the final year of an apprenticeship without missing regular vocational school classes? ClassUnlimited™, the concept, developed jointly by Bühler and the vocational and further training center in Uzwil-Flawil, makes this possible. Unique 4D didactic methods and intelligent, interactive technology bridge a distance of 9,000 km and extend the classroom to locations as far away as China. For years, Bühler has placed importance upon apprentices being able to gain their first experiences of working abroad during their training. Up to recently, however, this has meant a temporary break from regular vocational training. This is no longer the case. ClassUnlimited™ enables full integration of all trainees into the same classes – with no geographical limits. An explanation of how this actually works was given at a joint orientation session by representatives from the Uzwil-Flawil vocational and further training center and Bühler in the presence of senior civil servant, Stefan Kölliker, director of the department of training for the canton of St. Gallen.

Educational theory of teaching for the future
A class back at “base” in Switzerland is accommodated in the “same” classroom as a class via “satellite” at Bühler’s Chinese site in Wuxi. Both classes participate synchronously and integrally in the same teaching, irrespective of location. This is possible thanks to the latest image and sound transmission technology, interactive buttons and sensory cameras and microphones, which connect across the 9,000 kilometers. And this is not virtual but quite real, so that a true exchange is guaranteed.

Learning content, presentations and screen-sharing can be deployed via the touch panel. The events are transmitted directly by video. Highly sensitive directional microphones are triggered independently for the person speaking. The intelligent camera system also uses auto-focus for the speaker. The loudspeaker system with noise suppression ensures clear sound reproduction. And with the control center on the touchpad, you can travel around the world at the push of a button, as it were.

ClassUnlimited™ is something of an innovation in the field of joint teaching for distant locations, and clearly extends the concept way beyond classic videoconferencing in several respects. The teacher becomes an international trainer and coach, connecting continents, and the classroom becomes a control center for simultaneous, interactive teaching anywhere in the world – thanks to new media and the most up-to-date data transmission.

About Bühler:
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, especially production technologies and services for producing foods and advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of about 8800. In fiscal 2011, the Group generated sales revenues (turnover) of CHF 2131 million.

About the Uzwil – Flawil vocational and further training center
The objective of the Uzwil - Flawil vocational and further training center is to be the leading educational venue for the basic training of trainees (apprentices) in training places at Uzwil und Flawil, as well as further education for the wider population (all levels of education) . Further information at: www.bzuzwil.ch

For further questions:
Corina Atzli, Head Corporate Communications, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Tel. +41 71 955 33 99, fax +41 71 955 38 51, e-mail media@buhlergroup.com

Trainees from Uzwil and China in almost real-time discussion: the largest classroom in the world bridges the 9,000 kilometer distance. Trainees from Uzwil and China in almost real-time discussion: the largest classroom in the world bridges the 9,000 kilometer distance. Intelligent camera system with auto focus for every speaker. Intelligent camera system with auto focus for every speaker.

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