Classroom Technology Planning – an Eight Year Perspective


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  • The story was about the same everywhere in the early 90’s. We were running an internal equipment rental service. Departments would submit a request for a particular class. Media Resources would deliver that equipment and pick it up and return it to a central depot when the client was finished. Sounds like a fairly straightforward business, but because of the lack of funds, the high cost of equipment the inventory was kept at a minimum, the constant transport of the equipment, the amount of administrative overhead (placing the order, confirming the order, scheduling someone to deliver, someone to operate, someone to pickup, billing, making the equipment ready again, accelerated maint and repair schedule due to all of the transport, using a student workforce to accomplish most of this…. Created too many points of possible failure. And as they say if it can go wrong, it probably will! It was a cumbersome process, narrow window of opportunity for delivery, a non-dedicated workforce and aging equipment. Not the best business formula. Led to VERY unhappy Faculty
  • Despite the low demand for technology at that time, the folks in Media Resources knew that the demand would eventually grow. Knowing that the current model was in need of a dramatic change they looked to a model presented by University of Colorado. They had a fixed vs. delivery platform for their Smart classrooms. The equipment was placed in a secure cabinet. Faculty teaching in those rooms could check out keys for the entire semester. The simplicity of the new model seemed to be a cure for just about everything that was wrong with the current system. In the early 90’s UCR had given up their 19905 monies which were often applied to new classroom technology. Times were tough, their plan was expensive and for a couple of years they were unable to secure funding for their ideas.
  • Moving in to the mid 90’s the acceptance of and the demand for more technology in the classroom was creating a groundswell of attention. As we all know, when issues finally bubble over they often get funded. By the late 90’s we had finally gotten approval for the plan and secured the funding. Our goal was to move to a model that would… Meet the needs of our faculty in a transparent ( as much as possible) now and in the future in a manner that leveraged good solid, affordable technology.
  • Our engineer first created the hardware model and the design. They started with a basic design from University of Colorado at the time. All equipment was installed in a cabinet within each classroom. This would allow faculty to simply “use” the equipment. An attempt to standardize the equipment (brands) was incorporated to minimize the types of controls a faculty member would have to learn in order to use a classroom. The administration had asked for these classrooms to be self-service, no more operators. At the time our current Associate Vice Chancellor was very determined to be successful in getting this project funded. He successfully championed the initiative and received a 4 year commitment for a million dollars (250k) per year. As we all know it is an imperative to involve faculty in the planning process in situations like this. After all, this effort is for them. Unfortunately due to some very unusual circumstances we did not involve faculty In the original plan. We did however, once funded, re-engineer our plans with the aid of a faculty advisory group appointed by all the Deans.
  • Our criteria included… read above
  • A Profile A"A" code classrooms up to 85 seats Projection Screen Overhead Projector Slide Projector 35mm VHS VCR Sound System LCD Data Projector 2200 lumens, XGA Network data port B – up to 150 seats, 3000 lumens and a wireless mic C – 150 to 430 seats, 4700 lumens X and M Profiles were designations for the handful of classrooms intended for special use or required additional or special equipment. M for multimedia and X for those rooms with Xceptional problems so wide, with pillars that we need four projectors .
  • In most cases this created the need to have Physical Plant come and re-wire the lighting to allow lights at the front of the room to be turned off independently. Self service meant the faculty member must have direct access to the equipment (keys) and the knowledge to us the equipment. Our Intstructional Technology Group and our Multimedia Group offer all manner of workshops and one on one assistance as needed or requested by a faculty member. To compliment their efforts our CVC unit the Center for Visual Computing creates on line reference and information pages.
  • Here is an example of the online reference material provided for faculty. Support for the technology varies with the complexity of the room. At the far end of the spectrum UNLH1000, the large lecture hall we were in yesterday required a very strong approach…… (describe) New website to keep everyone informed about our general assignment classrooms (Clicky) We completed the deployment of the 4 year plan in 2003/2004 Academic year. Surveys indicated we were definitely on the right track. It created a dramatic difference in the classroom experience for our faculty.
  • The project was so successful in its first four years instead of fighting for the funding we were expected to continue the project another 4 years with the same funding, 1 million dollars of the next 4 years. So we picked up where we had left off with our Faculty Advisory Group. We went over their recommendations which included… read above. Keep the equipment fresh – In larger classrooms, consider using dual projectors
  • Read
  • Works with all current and future equipment Allow for control of room lighting and projection screens IP based to provide for.. To allow user to summon help To allow user support (operate equipment remotely) To do system checks remotely To monitor bulb life (preventative maint) And the system must be affordable.
  • Classroom Technology Planning – an Eight Year Perspective

    1. 1. <ul><li>Classroom Technology @ UCR </li></ul><ul><li>An Eight Year Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Presented by </li></ul><ul><li>Larry McGrath </li></ul><ul><li>Director Computing Support Services </li></ul><ul><li>Computing and Communications </li></ul><ul><li>University of California, Riverside </li></ul>UCCSC August, 2004
    2. 2. ` <ul><li>Result… </li></ul><ul><li>VERY Unhappy Faculty… </li></ul>Classroom Technology History… <ul><li>Little Self Service Capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Aging Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Constant Deliveries </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Overhead </li></ul>Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective
    3. 3. The Early Years <ul><li>Early 90’s the demand for digital technology in the classroom was not high. </li></ul><ul><li>Early 90’s there was a vision that technology in the classroom was coming. </li></ul><ul><li>Early delivery model of request and delivery would not scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed equipment – University of Colorado </li></ul><ul><li>The direction was clear but money was a big obstacle as UCR gave up their 19905 monies as part of their budget cut in the early 90’s. </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Plan Starts to Take Shape What does not work? <ul><li>In the mid 90’s the demand for technology in the classroom was growing. </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty found that using the technology often required assistance. (operators) </li></ul><ul><li>The “rental” model of centrally held and distributed equipment was not scaling to meet the increased demands. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>The Vision Six Years Ago… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create the model / design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make it Self Service </li></ul><ul><li>Four Year Plan / Acquire Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Common Technology in All Classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Involve Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Create Classroom Tech Advisory Group </li></ul><ul><li>Three Profiles to Match Classroom Sizes </li></ul>
    6. 6. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Fundamental Design Standards… </li></ul>Classrooms must contain the capability to present materials from a wide variety of sources, including (at a minimum) VHS video, DVD, a personal computer, and the internet. Classrooms must contain a chalkboard or whiteboard that is available and viewable at the same time digital or analog presentations are underway.
    7. 7. 3 Profiles <ul><li>Profile A – seats max of 85 </li></ul><ul><li>Profile B – seats 85 to 150 </li></ul><ul><li>Profile C – seats 151 and above </li></ul><ul><li>Some classroom required hardware outside of the spec, such as multiple projectors, surround sound etc. X and M </li></ul>
    8. 8. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Fundamental Design Standards… </li></ul>Classrooms must contain a combination of LCD projectors and/or lighting controls that allow students to take notes and view presentation material at the same time. Classrooms must be &quot;self service&quot; thus allowing instruction to occur without the aid of student operators and without the delivery of equipment.
    9. 9. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Fundamental Design Standards… </li></ul>Based on the academic discipline, sound systems and data projection resolution requirements may drive certain classroom minimum standards. What Happened… Project Funded ($1,000,000 over four years) Faculty Surveys Very Positive… Please visit http://
    10. 10. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Communications and Training… </li></ul>Workshops held each quarter; Information on web . Depending on classroom assignments, faculty contacted for training. New website to support communications efforts… Surveys of user satisfaction indicated a high level of faculty approval .
    11. 11. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Next Steps… </li></ul>Project Funded for Four More Years… Upgrade or replace equipment in general assignment classrooms as required; at the beginning of 04/05 25% of all classrooms will have five-year-old equipment. In appropriate classrooms, provide dual projection system (allowing simultaneous projection, for example, of PowerPoint and Internet material).
    12. 12. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Next Steps… </li></ul>In appropriate classrooms, provide single point of control (allowing faculty to control, from one location, input from a computer, DVD, Internet, electronic whiteboard, etc.). In ALL classrooms, provide &quot;Extra-thin&quot; classroom computers (keyboard and a monitor) allowing classroom access to a campus server hosting faculty &quot;classroom content&quot;: PowerPoint, Blackboard, streaming video, audio, etc.
    13. 13. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Next Steps… </li></ul>In appropriate classrooms, provide video conferencing equipment (allowing web casts of classroom presentations, archiving of classroom presentation for later viewing, and &quot;virtual&quot; presentations from visiting faculty or subject matter specialists or experts). Find a common controller for all classrooms IP Based, JIT Support, Remote Management
    14. 14. Extron System <ul><li>We selected Extron System 5 IP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universal Projector Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Room Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IP based, remote support, central monitoring and theft protection. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It provided for our major needs at an affordable price. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Extron system
    16. 16. Extron
    17. 17. Extron
    18. 18. Extron
    19. 19. Extron
    20. 20. Classroom Technology @ UCR An Eight Year Perspective <ul><li>Emerging Issues… </li></ul>Audience Response System Wireless Access in All Classrooms Thin Clients Web access to personal file storage (Xythos) Webcasting/Archiving in the lecture hall Creating a development environment for Instructional Technology. Questions? Comments? Thoughts?