We're always looking for new and better ways technology can help teaching and learning in the classroom. We'd like to tell you about some of the developments in classroom technology you'll be seeing over the next few years.
How would it be to be able to present wirelessly while moving wherever you'd like in the room. Let us show you how.
IITS is preparing to deploy Windows 10 to all classrooms and computer lab computers that have hardware capable of supporting the OS. Rooms going to the new operating system this summer include:
As you can see, all public computer labs in the Kellogg Library will be updated to Windows 10 over the summer. In addition, all instructors' station computers in Windows labs will be going to Windows 10. Older computer systems will continue to run Windows 7 until they are gradually replaced over the next year.
The campus is moving to the latest version of the popular Office suite of applications. Office 2016 will be installed on the new Windows 10 systems, and also available on CougarApps.
These changes will occur as we replace end-of-life projectors with new ones over the next few years.
Brighter - 50% brighter or more. A brighter image means less worry about the ambient lighting in the room, closing blinds, turning out lights, etc.
Higher resolution - more pixels means more detailed information can be displayed in the same space. And even items that are not that detailed will still look crisper.
Bigger images - new projection screens we're deploying are bigger than ever.
Since they're wider, they will cover a bit more whiteboard than before. So, we plan to move screens in older buildings from the center of the whiteboard to the side away from the instructor's station. So you'll have plenty of room to move around and even more whiteboard space than before. This has been the standard in all buildings built since about 2007.
Aspect ratio - the 16 by 9 aspect of your HD TV at home is the way data is displayed these days, and these new projectors have the new wide aspect.
Compatibility with modern devices - modern devices like laptops, tablets, etc. send an HD digital signal, and our new projectors love it.
Transitioning - During these changes, some rooms will still be 4:3 while others will have changed to 16:9. Don't worry though, your PowerPoints and other materials will still work just fine. And if you would like help adjusting them to fit the new aspect, just let us know.
These changes are happening for the Fall 2016 semester.
Windows 10 - the latest operating system ensures compatibility going forward.
Document Cameras - we have been gradually adding the popular document cameras to classrooms for the past few years, and this summer we should be able to complete this project, providing doc cams in all classrooms.
These are new things we're trying out, so they won't be everywhere for a while. But let us know if you're interested and we'll see if we can include you.
Digital whiteboarding - What if you could write nice and big so everyone in the room can see it, while facing your audience and maybe even walking aroung the room?
Student device sharing - How about those pesky devices we're always fighting for student attention? What if we could turn them into a help instead of a hindrance?
What if instead of checking Facebook, your students were using their devices for class work and sharing their results on screen next to yours? This is becoming possible with some of the new tech we're deploying.
Labs’ UNIV 272 is being converted into a “Thin Client” PC lab. A thin client is a terminal that has no hard drive or operating system stored on the local system. It uses the power of cloud computing to provide a virtual desktop via Cougar Apps. You can see the currently available cougar app options on the Available Applications webpage.
Thin client workstations.
Teacher drawing on an overhead transparency.
VHS Tape Players - A revolutionary device that changed the way we interact with video media. They still make the players, but you can't really get the tapes anymore. If you have VHS tapes you'd like to use in class, the Media Library would be happy to digitize them and give you links to play those videos anywhere on any devices.
If you're wondering why these are being phased out, this photo shows the actual internal mechanism of a VHS player. They are terribly unreliable and cause a lot of downtime. Plus, relying on physical media, it is only a matter of time before the tapes simply wear out. Once that happens, there's really no way to recover the recording.