SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, January 3, 2006

Viewpoint

Aux Out

By Will Craig

Fear, uncertainty, doubt, and hope are reflected in typical teacher stations, podiums, and classroom equipment racks in the form of auxiliary input/output connector panels. Checking the auxiliary connector panel in a college or university classroom will give you some insights about the room’s system designer.

If you find lots and lots of connectors for all sorts of input and output signals, the designer is probably overly-cautious about trying to provide a flexible system. As a result of past projects where users complained about lack of inputs/outputs, they prefer to err on the side of connectivity.

If there are only a few connectors, the designer is probably confident in their understanding of the current and future needs of the end-users. Or they were dealing with stringent budget constraints in terms of the signal routing and distribution. Or both...

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Case Study

Interactive Podiums Display Multimedia Content

By Linda L. Briggs

Interactive whiteboards, which allow instructors to use an electronic board in class to display and edit information, have proved popular over time. One issue: the boards sometimes aren’t big enough to have all of the content seen and read from the back of a large class.

Georgia Perimeter College in Dekalb County, Georgia, is addressing that issue by gradually retrofitting 360 classrooms across five campuses with a product from SMART Technologies called Sympodium. Using a special 15-inch monitor screen and an interactive pen, instructors can write on the monitor while displaying Web sites, graphs, charts, maps, and more. The monitor’s contents are displayed via projector onto a large screen at the front of the class – a screen that can be much larger than traditional electronic whiteboards...

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Tech Notes

Digital Publishing: Imperfect, but Improving

By Judith V. B'ettcher

Once upon a time there was a student named Jason. Jason was studying physics remotely, although he was not sure why he was studying physics. (What he really wanted to do was build some gaming simulations.) But physics was a required course and the new term was just starting. So, after playing the video of his faculty introducing the course and the study of physics, Jason got down to arranging for access to the course materials.

He pondered his options, but didn’t really want to buy the physical copy of the textbook. He knew from the online description that the book weighed 5.6 pounds—as much as all of his technology tools combined. (He had to admit, though, that carrying around the book might be good for his strength training.) He also knew that purchasing the tome would carve a huge chunk out of the amount he had budgeted for his course materials. Besides, the book (mostly text and photographs) was static and difficult to use, even with the addition of the CD-ROM. It was a “dead” object, thought Jason: It wasn’t connected to anything else, was not context-aware, and couldn’t be upgraded. Just as bad, it was difficult to find—or relocate—information in it, and it had no search engine and few audio or video resources for use on his iPod. The content was dense and the writing style was difficult to follow, and there weren’t even built-in assistants to help!... (Campus Technology)

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Reader Response

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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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