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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Classroom Upgrades Continue

In spite of uncertain times, Information Resource Technology continued to make progress upgrading classrooms over this last year.

With myriad technological advances infused into the teaching and learning experience, instructors are increasingly relying on technology to enhance instruction.  Our digital native students have growing expectations for technology use as well.  While these things are true, Information Resource Technology realizes that the services provided must meet the needs of both highly technical and non-technical faculty equally.  

Keeping this diverse and changing technology landscape in mind, the Provost and VP/Chief Information Officer established the Learning Space Advisory Workgroup in January, 2010. Their purpose was to facilitate collaborative and informed decision making in regards to the design and development of campus-wide classrooms, computer labs, and other learning spaces.  Decisions were made and goals were created, including the development of a four-year plan.  Nevertheless, classroom renovations were not immune to being impacted this past year, similar to other CSU sectors.   The good news is that some notable progress was made despite this impact.  
 
During summer and winter breaks, major renovations were completed in classrooms on campus. One room received new seating and two others were upgraded with the latest teaching technologies (206 total seats).

ARC 1009 received a nice upgrade with the installation of a new paint, projector, speakers, ceiling document camera and a podium with the latest technology (46 seats).

ARC 1009 received a nice upgrade with the installation of a new paint, projector, speakers, ceiling document camera and a podium with the latest technology (46 seats).

KDM 145 also received a nice upgrade with installation of a new podium with the latest technology, projector, screen, and speakers (70 seats).

With the Part I technology upgrades completed, that included a wall-mounted control panel, PC, DVD Player and ceiling document camera, Part II of the major renovation to Mendocino 1015 was completed with the installation of new seating, including rotating chairs for small group work, new whiteboards, lighting, paint and carpeting.

With the increasing need for collaborative learning spaces, IRT implemented new collaborative tables, seating and technology in the Student Technology Center in ARC 3008. This learning space is an example of a multi-use space where small groups can work independently at each table or the space may be used as one larger group learning space.

KDM 145 also received a nice upgrade with installation of a new podium with the latest technology, projector, screen, and speakers (70 seats).

With the increasing need for collaborative learning spaces, IRT implemented new collaborative tables, seating and technology in the Student Technology Center in ARC 3008. This learning space is an example of a multi-use space where small groups can work independently at each table or the space may be used as one larger group learning space.

With the increasing need for collaborative learning spaces, IRT implemented new collaborative tables, seating and technology in the Student Technology Center in ARC 3008.  This learning space is an example of a multi-use space where small groups can work independently at each table or the space may be used as one larger group learning space.

In addition to the major renovations, IRT completed technology refreshes in 30 classrooms across campus. Technology refreshes include replacement and installation of some or all of the following items:  projectors, PCs, document cameras, DVD/VCRs, controllers, control interfaces, speakers, and wiring. IRT and Facilities worked together over the summer to synchronize efforts so that the maintenance of technology and facilities resources occurred at the same time.  This prevented the installation of new technology into a space that had problems like broken light fixtures and chipping paint.

IRT is exploring cloud-based computing in our computer labs. Currently we have nine computers in ARC 2004 that are a beta test for our virtual lab. Cost savings on hardware and students’ access to lab software are the driving force for this project. We hope to encourage students to bring their own device to campus to connect to our virtual lab to get the software they need.

Feedback from faculty on campus technology has been exceptionally positive. Plans currently exist for continued classroom improvements on campus. We welcome your ideas regarding renovation of other campus classrooms. Please feel free to send your comments to classrooms@csus.edu.  Do you have feedback for IRT? Email us at irtfeedback@csus.edu