The instructors in the nationally recognized Orthotics and Prosthetics (O & P) program at Century College knew they needed to significantly improve the quality of their instructional videos, but had no idea how. That’s why they hired Z Systems to bring our expertise to design and build a custom mobile video production system.
Century College in White Bear Lake has a nationally known Orthotics and Prosthetic program. Orthotics and Prosthetics, O & P for short, are the evaluation, fabrication, and custom fitting of orthopedic braces, and artificial limbs, respectively. Century is one of a small number of two-year colleges in the country to offer an O & P program, and the only one where O & P students can choose from a 2-year associate degree, a post-associate degree and, with partner Concordia University in Saint Paul, a master’s degrees.
Despite its stature as an elite O & P program, it, like the entire orthotics and prosthetics industry, lagged in integrating technology, including video, for training. However, thanks to a grant, and assistance from Z Systems, the orthotics & prosthetics program has brought more and better technology into teaching and the entire industry.
Eric Klein, Century College instructional technologist, said the grant opened the door to create customized video technology. “Industry was calling out for more talented people to be part of the fabrication and treatment for those folks. There is a need for fuller awareness of the growing population of folks who need these devices to go on with their lives, so it’s serving a real purpose in our society.”
Stephen Kelly, Century College project manager, went on to say, “If you follow war and you follow diabetes you’ll find all the places there is a great need for this.”
Stephen and Eric allocated the grant money, so they met with Century’s O & P staff members to talk about their vision for producing high-quality videos that demonstrate how to properly evaluate patients and fabricate and fit them with orthopedic braces and artificial limbs.
The question, according to Stephen, was, “How can we bring the camera, the video and the audio to the places we are working around the labs? We don’t want to just record the video. It would be nice to have something where would could do some editing. We needed to have a system that would be steady because we want to have high quality video. We didn’t know what that looked like, which is why we came to Z Systems.”
The mobile recording system, said Stephen helped raise instruction to an unprecedented level. “The combination of quality of instruction with Roger Wagner, combined with the quality – the video being crystal clear – that combination is unique.
“Here’s the reason this is really important. There’s a lot of people suffering amputations and limb loss in third world countries and around the world. They need the services of people who know how to do these kinds of things, but no one knows how to do them except Westerners.”
Smart phones, added Stephen, allow people nearly anywhere to watch Century O & P videos and learn these skills. “People have access to video technology. Start recording these kinds of videos, you get them out there to the world on sites like YouTube and they become very useful to folks that wouldn’t otherwise have good examples of how to fabricate this kind of component.”
Stephen said he and other Century College folks enjoyed collaborating with Z Systems. “We were really happy working with Z Systems throughout the process. We thought that you, especially, Steve, but Jay as well, were terrific to work with. You were really responsive; you were always on time. What you guys built for us was exactly what we expected. It was a great experience! If we have the opportunity, we’d work with you guys again.”