College Planning & Management

MAY 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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MULTIMEDIA U Kirkwood are using the iProjection app that works seamlessly with their new Epson projectors. Professors can now wirelessly link their iPads to the projector and project whatever visuals they have set up on that tablet. Allan Schau, the AV Services coordinator at Kirkwood, says that professors can use the iProjection app to fulfill about 70 percent of their projection needs. Schau also notes that his department didn't choose to move toward the iProjection app as a giant leap into a new technology. It was simply the next logical step based on the infrastructure they designed. Looking toward the future, they will be adding Apple TVs to supplement the flexibility offered by the iProjection app and allow professors even more opportunities to use the technology. Interaction A common misconception is that, with multimedia technology, students are simply watching a video or listening to an audio fi le. Technology has created new ways that students can interact with academic material and collaborate with their peers. A recent article from the Journal of College Science Teaching concluded that clickers, which are devices that allow students to answer multiple-choice questions without saying anything, give quiet students an opportunity to interact in class when they may otherwise just listen to the lecture. Along that same line, multimedia technology can also create an interactive learning environment. For example, collaboration tools like Prezi can help students create presentations. "It allows you to have this sort of back and forth and sharing of ideas and be able to share a presentation in a more dynamic way than a straight PowerPoint," says Kent. Standardized Vs. Custom When Kent works on designing multimedia systems for colleges, he takes a look at 88 the iProjection app and Apple TVs across the campus. This kind of approach allows for a certain uniformity that teachers and students can grow to be familiar with. Greening Multimedia Classrooms PHOTO COURTESY OF KIRKWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE what the professors are hoping to do in that classroom. "For multimedia technology, it's really about communication and the ability of the teacher to use tools to communicate," he says. He also asks himself what kind of technology will support and facilitate what the teachers want to do and how they want to communicate with students. "I'm not a big proponent of one size fits all," he declares. The upside to a custom approach to multimedia designs is that each teacher will have a system that works with what he or she hopes to do and within a certain skill level. Professors may be reluctant to use an iPad every day if they've never used one before. But a SmartBoard may be exactly right for their needs. Kent encourages administrations to look at the course material and see what the teacher's methods are. It shouldn't take the teacher 20 minutes to set up the technology during a 50-minute class. On the other hand, custom designs can be incredibly expensive, and a standardized approach can add some consistency for teachers and students. At Kirkwood, Schau and his coworkers train faculty and staff on how to use the new technology since they hope to standardize the use of COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MAY 2013 Sustainability is an important factor that college administrations have to consider when putting in new technology. Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, opted to put up MicroTiles, digital displays that can create a uniquely shaped screen, in their new student center in 2007. They considered not only the cost of the display, but the long-term effects it would have on the environment. Kent mentions that more important than thinking about a "green" classroom is thinking about a "smart" classroom. Much of the environmental cost comes from devices being left on and running for extended periods of time. Smart technology, Kent insists, turns on when teachers need it to and turns itself off when not in use. Each college's administration has to decide what kinds of technology will not only be right for their fi nancial and environmental situation, but also what's right for their students and teachers. Multimedia technology today has expanded to include devices that may have started out on the Starship Enterprise. In addition to Kirkwood Community College's use of the iProjection app and Cuyahoga Community College's expansive audio system, researchers at the University of Tokyo have created holograms for the classroom that students can not only see, but also feel. Technological innovations are popping up all over the world and giving professors more flexibility with how they can reach students. CPM Jasmine Evans is a freelance writer who specializes in education topics. She can be reached through her site at WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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