SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Viewpoint

Bankrolling IT Infrastructure

By John Moore

Every investment in IT infrastructure presents a classic double whammy: An organization has to budget for the initial deployment and maintain funding to keep the technology working. Neither task is easy for university administrators, given funding constraints and plenty of competition for the available dollars. But schools hoping to stretch their budgets as far as possible have some techniques at their disposal. Try these tactics for making every dollar count in such infrastructure areas as storage, wireless, and network servers.

Think Strategically

Looking at the big picture can yield benefits when it comes to IT infrastructure investment. That’s particularly the case with storage, frequently overlooked as an expenditure that should be carefully managed. Organizations often tack on storage as a matter of course whenever they purchase servers. As a result, the storage outlay flies under the investment-management radar...

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News & Product Updates

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Case Study

Stetson School of Music Marching to a Different Drummer

By Linda L. Briggs

Document cameras, often referred to as ELMOs because of a leading manufacturer (ELMO USA Corp.), have been used in classrooms for years. They function like a high-tech version of the opaque projector of years past. The document camera can either be table- or ceiling-mounted, and ties to a large-screen projector. The document beneath the camera is projected onto a classroom screen for students to view; the cameras supplement or sometimes replace a classroom blackboard or whiteboard.

But at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, an hour north of Orlando, the school of music has elevated ELMOs to a new height. Instructors there are using the camera setup in new ways, such as helping music students learn by putting music scores under the document camera while the music on the score is being played.

The Stetson School of Music curriculum includes performance, music education, composition, and digital arts. Students are offered a variety of performing opportunities, including symphony orchestra, band, choirs, opera, musical theater, jazz, chamber music, and solo music. Classrooms throughout Stetson’s School of Music are equipped with ELMO ceiling-mounted and desktop document cameras, projectors, and screens...

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Tech Notes

Electronic Student Assessment: The Power of the Portfolio

By Matt Villano

At Bentley College, the interdisciplinary Liberal Studies program has undergone quite a makeover: Educators there have completely revamped the way in which they assess student performance in class. For years, the process was “old school” – students were required to submit all work in person, printing out assignments on paper, stapling them, and handing them over to professors upon request. These days, however, the school handles assessment with next-generation ePortfolio tools that enable students and teachers to exchange assignments electronically... (Campus Technology)

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Reader Response

After reading the article from August 23, 2006 in Campus Technology titled “University of Texas Saves Big by Standardizing its Classroom Systems” by Linda L. Briggs, I felt the need to respond and let you (and hopefully your readers) know that there are countless, dedicated people at UT Austin who are directly accountable for the technology systems in our classrooms. No one person or department at UT is responsible for the majority of design, purchasing, installation, or support that g'es in to the 400+ classrooms at the University of Texas at Austin.

In fact, about a dozen different departments independently manage the classrooms at UT. The largest number of rooms are administered by Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services, Director J'e Tenbarge. The Colleges of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Fine Arts, Business, Communications, Education, Law, Pharmacy, Social Work, and Nursing all operate the General Purpose and departmental rooms in their respective buildings.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest campuses in the world and the immense responsibility of managing its classrooms and classroom technology was divided by committee between the colleges about six years ago. Each department makes their own decisions about design and manufacturers. Several rooms have control systems but many do not. There are Crestron, AMX, and Extron, as well as a few custom control systems on campus. Epson, NEC, InFocus, Panasonic, and Proxima projectors are all represented.

Thank you,

Grant Barger
Classroom Technology Coordinator
Liberal Arts ITS
University of Texas at Austin

We want to hear from you!

What d'es "smart" classroom technology mean to your campus? Share your viewpoint, experiences, and questions with your peers by writing to us at editors@campus-technology.com.

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