Classroom Technology Refreshes with New Collaboration Devices

The Solstice Pod, just one of the new technologies coming to classrooms this summer.

Working closely with the Academic Technology Service Directors and the Academic Technology Council, we have identified approximately 70 rooms to receive classroom technology upgrades this fiscal year.  We are currently in the process of scheduling the rooms and finalizing bids with our vendors.  The scheduling component will largely determine how many of those rooms we are able to complete over the summer months.  SMU classrooms are still in such heavy use during the summer months that it leaves little time for major upgrade work.

There are a few exciting new changes that are included this year.

New Wireless Screen Sharing/Collaboration Devices

Over the past few years, we’ve received more requests to install an Apple TV in rooms to facilitate the screen sharing functionality. The only problem is that Apple TV is restricted to a single platform.  We have recently reviewed a new device (Solstice by Mersive) that allows the same functionality across multiple platforms.  This will allow faculty and students to share their device screens with the class and project that image on the screen in the classroom.  Faculty can control the connection and the sharing of the content.  We plan to install several of these devices this summer.  Prior to the Fall semester, we will provide demonstrations of the new technology as well as online tutorials for faculty and students.

Deployment of Interactive Projectors or Wacom Tablets

Faculty often want the ability to write, draw or annotate information and have that information appear on the projector screen.  There are two technologies that we are deploying in several locations that offer this functionality as well as additional interactive features.  We installed an interactive projector last year and the usage of that projector received rave reviews.  Faculty in Lyle have been using the Wacom tablets in several rooms and have expressed great support for these devices.  We are expanding the installation of these devices in multiple rooms this summer.

Continued Integration with the Remote Control Server

We will continue reprogramming the various rooms to integrate with the application that allows us to monitor and control the AV gear remotely. As we migrate more rooms into the system, our ability to proactively support and manage these rooms improves.  That means fewer panicked calls at the start of class and less disruptions to teaching!

These are just a few of the exciting changes coming this summer to classrooms.  A detailed list of classrooms and the plans underway is located at smu.box.com/v/FY18-Classroom-Tech.  We will also include updated instructions (both online and in the rooms), open house demonstrations prior to the first day of class, and other items to help faculty utilize the classroom technology.

Published by

Rachel Mulry

Director of Customer Service- Office of Information Technology