What technologies and features do higher education favor for digital signage and video and web conferencing deployments? And what can be done to ensure that these technology purchases are used wisely? Here’s what is happening on the AV technology scene.
Today’s universities with campus-wide, robust mobile broadband networks have secured an edge in marketing to technology-centered young adults. These young adults have embraced smartphones and are using applications that enable life on campus to be more secure, navigable, and fun. Apps are everywhere. They boost campus security by opening doors to residence halls, broadcast real-time audio and video to emergency dispatchers, use QR (Quick Response) codes to traverse campus grounds, and help students to meet up, check grades or assignments, and receive weather and class cancellation alerts.
The word “class” really doesn’t do justice to what medical students attend in the newly renovated lecture theatre at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.
“It’s a production, which is so much better,” said Ed Hipditch, manager of classroom technologies with Memorial University’s Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS) department. “Students walk in and say ‘Wow!’ The wow factor is important when educating someone. It’s not just someone scribbling on a chalkboard.”
If you haven’t made your plans yet for EduComm 2011, let me take this opportunity to tell you about the variety of fast-paced, information-packed breakout sessions scheduled for attendees. Covering a range of topics from learning technology and social media to enrollment strategies and leadership issues, the sessions are designed to inform and enlighten all decision makers at colleges and universities about the changes, challenges and solutions, that higher education must confront today and in the coming years.
The ToolBox USB 2.0 Extender Long Range from Gefen powers multiple computer devices at long distances through a 4-port USB 2.0 hub. It works with lo- and hi-speed USB peripherals, including cameras, scanners, printers, keyboards, hard drives, and DVD burners. Up to 330 feet can be traversed by portable sender and receiver units that fit into any integrated system. Priced at $649, the USB 2.0 Extender LR is wall-mountable and offers locking power supplies to eliminate potential disconnects.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when trying to convey complex ideas. At Purdue University (Ind.), a home-grown smartphone app lets students easily incorporate mobile video components into class assignments and share them with teachers and other students.
Called DoubleTake, the app was developed by the university's information technology staff and is available through the iTunes App store. An Android-based version is in the works as well.
As new technologies are developed, many tried-and-true staples of academia have fallen. So it is with the carousel slide projector.
Long a staple of art history classes, slide projectors are becoming obsolete, and while many professors and instructors have plenty of media, they don't have a way to replace the projector itself.
For the University of Denver's multimedia department this presented an opportunity not only to solve an immediate problem but to create something that would go beyond the traditional uses of media objects.