New Classroom Technologies!August 18, 2021
New Classroom Control Systems – In 97 classrooms we replaced older classroom control systems (Chumbies) with the new Pixie system. This compact set of buttons, typically located on the teaching console, works much like your TV remote at home. Power on/off (for the projector) on the top row; Volume up/down on the bottom row and 4 “source” buttons in the middle. The Source buttons allow you to choose the console Computer, a device you connect – such as a laptop; Blank (aka Display Mute) and Un-Blank.
New Touch-Screen Monitors – In 17 classrooms we replaced the regular monitors at the console with touch-screen units. Here at Truman, whenever we have the opportunity to replace a projector – our goal is to install a wall-mount projector which provides a brighter, sharper image; reduces instructor “blinding”, and provides the capability of digital inking and interactivity at the board. However, this is not always possible due to structural issues or other considerations. We wanted to have a way to provide a similar digital ink option even in these rooms. So we are piloting the ViewSonic TD2455 in these 17 rooms. It is a large, bright, monitor that instructors can look at as a standard monitor, or use touch-enabled applications such as SMART Notebook, PowerPoint, Flex 11, etc. by utilizing the supplied stylus, a personal stylus, or finger-touch gestures.
New HDL 300 Microphone Mist Technology – 39 classrooms got major upgrades of the microphone/speaker system. These Nureva HDL 300 units will provide the sound for Zoom sessions to better support special guest speakers and Hy-Flex/Hybrid classroom models. They look like large speaker bars mounted at the ceiling. They employ a technology called “microphone mist” which provides 8,192 virtual microphones per unit to cover an entire room and provide better clarity for the remote audience as the instructor moves throughout the room, or the local students contribute to discussions.
- Note – a given classroom may have multiple speakers and mics installed (Hovercams, HDLs, projector, etc.) the instructor may have to specifically choose the HDL as mic and speaker in Zoom by clicking the “microphone” icon in the Zoom tools
New Projector Installations – also referred to major/multi-item projects – 23 classrooms underwent major/multi-item renovations. These projects are typically driven by the need for a new projector, but often require many other items to be updated/replaced due to functionality and input/output issues. These other items may include new projector screens, whiteboards, amps, speakers, AV control systems, and of course wiring – potentially in addition to some of the specialty items mentioned above. Not all rooms get the same list of items – each is a custom install.
- List of rooms with the New Projector installations
- Using the digital ink/interactivity features of Epson wall-mount projectors
Hovercams – still pretty NEW 🙂 – Don’t forget every classroom on campus was upgraded last year with a Hovercam unit – these do dual duty as a digital document camera or as a webcam for use with Zoom and similar applications. Let us know if you would like more information on either use of this super-tool.