Over the winter break many technological upgrades were made to the projector, screen and podium in the Library Classroom in order to improve the teaching and learning experience. Students will now have a larger screen that is clearer and easier to read, and instructors will be able to project content from their favorite devices, including tablets and laptops. All technological changes were made with a focus on flexibility. Good teaching and learning happens in a variety of modalities and environments, so having spaces that are flexible enough to accommodate those differences was a priority in planning the upgrades.
Most noticeable is the now very large screen. A new Eiki screen, 87 X 139 inches, or 164 inches diagonally, was installed. The larger screen is more visible from the back of the room and displays a clearer image.
The old projector was replaced with a new, significantly brighter projector, making the images projected onto the screen crisper and more detailed than before. The new projector can also project HD 1080p quality video in wide screen format, which makes it compatible with DVD movies and wide-screen PowerPoint presentations. It is also much more flexible than the old projector, and can accommodate other devices, such as tablets.
The electronics in the podium, except for the computer, have been completely upgraded. The VCR has been removed and a new DVD player that is capable of reading multiple formats (DVD Video/MP3/WMA/WAV, etc.) has been added. In addition, instructors can now plug in devices that are HDMI compatible (such as the iPad) in addition to just the standard VGA. Finally, there is a new Crestron touch screen control panel to run all of the technology in the podium. The new electronics in the podium can also be expanded to adapt to new technology, which will give instructors greater flexibility going forward.
Dana also obtained a new Sharp 55″ High Definition flat panel monitor mounted on a movable cart so that it can be moved from room to room as needed. Instructors and students can plug their laptops into the panel and display what is on their laptop on the monitor. Dana librarians foresee using this set up with smaller groups of people when the big screen would be too overwhelming.
As classes settle into this new space, Dana education librarian, Gary Atwood, who oversaw the project, will be surveying instructors and students alike for feedback on these technological improvements.