Tech Talk: ITS Newsletter

March, 2018

Question 1: What is the latest new technology in the classroom at UNCW?

Collaboration is the big movement in higher education right now, and we are putting an exciting new technology in the classroom to this end:  wireless AV connectivity technology, which has matured to the point where it can be deployed. Several classrooms around campus are now equipped with devices that allow people to connect to the display using their laptop, iPad, phone, etc. via hawkwifi and an easy-to-download app, instead of plugging into cables. In addition to doing away with adapters and wires, the technology also allows for multiple users to be connected and displayed at once.

Another exciting technology is the interactive monitor that lets professors annotate on top of their PowerPoints, PDFs, desktops, etc. This not only allows for a more engaging presentation of material than static slides, but the annotations can be saved for later review or dissemination. This technology provides the same active writing experience as a blackboard or whiteboard but is easier for the students to read and never needs to be erased. When the screen is full, simply advance to the next page and keep writing!

Question 2: How do you keep technology in the classroom relevant and supported?

The majority of classrooms on campus are part of the Classroom Technology Assistance Program, which includes life-cycle funding. This funding allows these rooms to be kept current as technology evolves, including the implementation of new technology as it becomes available. Recently, rooms have been getting touchscreen controls and more reliable and robust AV hardware as an example of technology upgrades happening through the program.

We also partner with colleges and departments around campus on various initiatives. For example, a number of classrooms in the Education Building were recently upgraded with cameras, microphones and connectivity to the central control room to enable the use of WebEx and other online teaching tools in the spaces. Another collaboration is happening with the Cameron School of Business to add distance education capabilities to a couple of their rooms as well. We utilize the experience of our Distance Education team to provide subject matter expertise for the design and operation of these spaces so that faculty and students have current, easily useable systems that can be supported with available resources.