By John Nickel, IT Support Technician, and William Frady, Manager of Instructional and Student Computing (pictured)
In an effort to increase the functionality and usability of WCU classrooms, IT’s instructional and student computing team has been hard at work updating and standardizing demonstration classrooms. For a room to be considered “standard” it needs to at least contain a computer, a document camera, a projector and a cart for the teaching station. We began installing equipment during the summer and have continued on into the fall semester, starting with the most important part, the computer. Although most rooms already have computers, we replaced many old machines with newer models to increase work efficiency at those stations.
In addition to the computers, we distributed more than 60 new projectors across classrooms, upgrading older models or adding a projector to rooms that did not have one. We also updated teacher stations with 24 new document cameras and several new carts, many of which have already been distributed to classrooms. Not only does standardization bring the obvious benefit of new, improved equipment, but it also helps IT support the classrooms more effectively. When all of the classrooms have the same equipment and setup, it lessens the amount of variables the technician needs to consider when troubleshooting classroom issues.
Standardizing the demonstration classrooms makes scheduling events in those classrooms easier, too. When all the classrooms offer the same equipment, instructors don’t have to wonder which room has what equipment, which takes some of the guesswork out of scheduling classrooms in R25. This also makes certain equipment (document cameras, for example) more available throughout campus, which allows instructors to get the room with the equipment they need with less hassle. Through standardization there will be a broader set of equipment available in more classrooms for instructors to use when planning their lessons. Even though we are well under way with this project, we continue to be excited to help foster an improved teaching environment at WCU by increasing the quality of the equipment in our classrooms.
For more information on classroom support, visit http://www.wcu.edu/27193.asp.