Technology plays an vital role in classroom instruction. When it doesn’t work as expected, it’s not only a tremendous disruption but it can be quite stressful as well. Knowing that time is of essence, we began planning for a way to decrease the amount of time a class is interrupted due to technology issues or waiting for help to arrive.
Replacing the technology was one strategy. We identified a large batch of rooms that were in need of new equipment. Over 60 classrooms received major upgrades this summer. With each installation, our AV team sought to provide a streamlined, reliable and user-friendly configuration of the equipment and controls. Moving towards a standard configuration makes it easier for faculty to quickly adapt if they teach in multiple classrooms. Another round of classroom upgrades is planned for the Winter Break.
The second strategy was to implement a software solution to remotely control the classroom equipment. This allows the help desk to assist while the faculty is on the phone reporting the issue. Rather than waiting for a tech to arrive, the help desk can reset the equipment, toggle the source buttons, and resolve login issues from the desk. This will enable a quicker resolution to the problem and allow faculty to resume teaching. Our goal is to have remote control capability in all of our classrooms. This summer, we were able to integrate approximately 50 classrooms including all rooms in Dallas Hall, Clements, and Hyer Hall. Plans are underway to roll-out remote control in additional classrooms over the next academic year.
Another side benefit of the remote control tools is the ability to power off the equipment in the late evenings saving power as well as lamp life. Alerts have also been configured so we know in advance if a room is not responding as it should. This will allow us to proactively visit the classroom and resolve the issue before class starts.
Faculty teaching in Dallas Hall, Clements and Hyer will continue to call 8-8888 to report an issue. Rather than quickly hanging up and waiting for the technician, please stay on the line with us to quickly resolve the issue. If a technician is needed in any classroom, we will of course engage our AV team and Desktop teams to assist quickly. We’re looking forward to providing this improved service to our faculty and students.