Three-Year Classroom Upgrade Project in Home Stretch
ITS Teaching & Learning is completing a three-year project to convert general-purpose classrooms to digital from analog equipment.
The division upgraded about 200 classrooms with more interactive and user-friendly devices during summer and other breaks when the rooms were not needed. By the time Fall 2016 classes start, ITS Teaching & Learning will have finished the project, except for five classrooms that ITS held off on because the buildings were being renovated.
This analog equipment was no longer under warranty or could no longer be serviced because manufacturers were no longer making this equipment.
With these digital upgrades, “you wouldn’t walk into a room and know it had gone through a digital upgrade,” said Gina Bradford, ITS Classroom Hotline Manager.
However, ITS will be better able to support and troubleshoot these devices for instructors. ITS can pull up a dashboard or web page from its own office to determine, for example, that a touch panel is not responding. As needed, ITS can bypass the system and get things up and running remotely for an instructor. Also, ITS can see if at any point, equipment is offline and then troubleshoot to get systems working before a classroom is needed for an 8 a.m. class.
In some of the digital-upgrade classrooms, ITS also upgraded fixed cameras and microphones to give instructors the ability for web-conferencing tools such as Skype. Instructors can web conference in all the general-purpose classrooms, Bradford said, the fixed cameras and microphones provide a better experience.