Classroom Upgrade Project for Summer 2021 Launches

Simmons Instructor StationOver the past 12 months, our classrooms received a significant amount of technology and equipment upgrades and changes.  During the summer months, work was done in 250 rooms to install the various components necessary to support SMUFlex.  During the Winter break, we added more components and changes to approximately 93 rooms to deliver an enhanced SMUFlex course experience. As we prepare now for a fully in-person Fall semester, we will focus our classroom efforts on a variety of maintenance and repair requests with a smaller number of major upgrades than is typical. Continue reading Classroom Upgrade Project for Summer 2021 Launches

Technology Blossoms Over Winter Break

Welcome to Spring 2021!

In the summer of 2020, we installed a significant amount of technology in the various classrooms to support SMUFlex and fully virtual courses.  This technology worked well, but the lack of audience microphones in many spaces and the lack of the visual of the students in the classroom delivered a slightly disconnected experience for the class.  As a remote graduate student myself, I was able to experience the efficacy as well as the limitations of our initial technology configuration firsthand.  In order to provide a better experience for the spring semester, the University authorized the purchase of another set of technology that was installed over the Winter break. Continue reading Technology Blossoms Over Winter Break

Classroom Technology Resources for 2021

SMUFlexWe know that the transition to SMUFlex and virtual teaching has not been easy and required a tremendous amount of effort from you.  While the new technology should provide an enhanced and simpler experience for your courses, it also adds yet another thing to learn!  Rest assured, we’ve made it as simple as possible and have provided multiple resources to help you get acclimated. Continue reading Classroom Technology Resources for 2021

Classroom Upgrades: New Devices to Enhance SMUFlex

Owl and DTENIn preparation for the Fall semester, each classroom received a variety of technology components to help facilitate SMUFlex. The focus during the initial upgrade was to ensure high-quality video and audio for the instructor, whiteboard capabilities and zoom. As fall classes began, the need for audience microphones became more critical in providing an enhanced experience for the remote students particularly in classes that rely heavily on discussion. Several temporary solutions were deployed in a few classrooms to help provide this functionality. The University has allocated additional funding to purchase technology for 62 classrooms to improve the online experience for students this spring. Continue reading Classroom Upgrades: New Devices to Enhance SMUFlex

Troubleshooting Tips for Classroom AV

Troubleshooting Tips for Classroom AVTechnology glitches are inevitable no matter how hard we try to eliminate them! It’s even more stressful when you are standing in front of the classroom with all students staring at you! Here are a few troubleshooting tips to remember if you arrive in a room and the technology is not working as expected.

  • The Podium is the Host: If a podium computer is installed, it must be used as the source for your Zoom meeting. You may join with a personal device as a Co-Host, but the podium must be the main Host for the meeting
  • Run the Zoom audio test: When you first launch Zoom, it is always a good idea to run the quick test of your speakers and microphone. In most rooms, you will need to adjust the speaker setting within Zoom in order for your remote participants to be heard in the room.
    1. Click the arrow next to the Mute icon.
    2. Click Test Speaker & Mic.
      Don’t hesitate to try the different microphones and speakers until you have a successful test.
  • Microphone batteries are low: If a microphone battery is low, you can switch to either the webcam microphone or even the document camera microphone for that session.
  • Can’t hear audio: Double check the touchpanel and ensure that the room and microphone mute buttons are Off. In most cases, the buttons turn red if the mute is on.
    • Please Note: The projector must be ON for audio to transmit in the room. If you do not wish to see the content of the screen, hit the Blank Screen button on the touch panel. However, the projector must be turned ON for audio to work!
  • The projector isn’t working: Have the students join the Zoom session on their laptops or phones from within the room. The students will not need to join with audio from those devices.
  • Issues with the built-in camera: While this is a bit more difficult to troubleshoot, we can quickly deliver a webcam if needed to provide video. Of course, you could also join the Zoom session from your phone (with no audio) to provide video if needed.

Remember, if you encounter issues and need on-site assistance, please call the Classroom Support line at 214-768-8888. We will dispatch a technician immediately to assist in the classroom.