Why edtech leaders benefited from networking at UB Tech® 2019’s expo hall
The expo hall at UB Tech® 2019 provided multiple opportunities for attendees to have one-on-one discussions with numerous vendors to learn how specific products and services could benefit their colleges or universities. Higher ed leaders also participated in 20-minute presentations at the UB Tech Talks Theater.
Many people watched live product demos and tested devices. At the HP Inc. station, for example, I was given a virtual reality headset that transported me to a university lab where a simulated professor guided me through the process of dissecting a frog lying on a table in front of me. Using a hand-held device, I “grabbed” a scalpel from a tray of tools to my left to cut into the frog. So I could see what areas to cut, lines materialized over the specimen.
Attendees also played esports games at the designated pavilion and interacted with various products, including HoverCam’s digital podium and the Nureva Sketch display.
Into the cloud
Campus tech leaders browsed a large assortment of cloud computing solutions, such as licensing services, platforms that can deploy digital resources, and enterprise data systems.
One provider described their solution to me as a “one-stop system for all data.”
Booths also showcased content and space management systems, along with programs that integrate video capture and livestreaming, for example, into a college’s existing LMS. In addition, as would be expected at UB Tech, attendees perused ample selections of digital signage solutions, audiovisual products, artificial intelligence devices and tech-integrated furniture for collaboration spaces.
Enhancing the student experience
Some vendors offered products specifically for students, including the Net Check In app that displays wait times for services on a digitized campus map. A student can check in virtually by entering their name and phone number. Colleges usually tailor the app for tutoring sessions and walk-ins to the registrar and financial aid offices because, as the representative noted, few students take the time to schedule meetings. Another program, AppsAnywhere, deploys apps in one convenient place for students and staff.
At another booth, a representative from Ink Labs Inc. demonstrated how students could insert an ID into a printer kiosk’s slot to print materials from accounts such as Google Drive. The representative demonstrated this for me by printing out a document she had saved as a PDF in her Dropbox: the cover of the latest issue of University Business.