Classroom Technology - Planning for Fall 2021

Dear Faculty,

As you prepare to return to campus, and the use of all available classroom spaces for in-person instruction, Information Services would like to make you aware of the work that we are doing this summer to prepare for your arrival, and the start of classes in August. 

As many of you are aware, we have begun the process of removing the temporary technology configurations that were used to support the blended teaching and learning environment. There are approximately 180 classroom spaces that have been scheduled for use in the fall, and we are working to return all of them to their pre-COVID technology configurations. At the same time, we are continuing with our annual technology refresh commitments, which include projection system replacements, control system upgrades, and the continued addition of cameras in classrooms to support lecture capture needs for those faculty that may wish to use capture in the classroom. By the end of our summer project commitments, we expect to have about 120 of the 180 classroom spaces equipped with lecture capture capabilities; this information will be listed in SpiderTechNet.  As you may know, Panopto is the application that we use for lecture capture, and the application is installed in the base image of every classroom computer. Information on the use of Panopto is also available in SpiderTechNet. 

Other key areas of technology configuration capabilities to be aware of:

Video Teleconferencing needs: Information Services has supported video teleconferencing (VTC) needs in classrooms around the campus for a number of years; examples include: guest speakers that are remote, and peer institution collaboration (classroom to classroom). Planning for VTC needs this fall really represents a return to normal protocol. We ask that the faculty member consult with the Telecommunications and Multimedia Services and Support (TMSS) team, and a technician will work directly with you on the best way to accommodate the need. Some classrooms are already equipped with the technology to support VTC, and in some cases we will decide to bring in additional equipment to augment existing room capabilities. Each request is unique, and we want to be able to discuss the opportunity with you before we make a final recommendation for that specific space. We will continue to use Zoom as the primary VTC application, and it is installed in the base image of every classroom computer.  

Classroom Computers: Returning the room to the normal technology configuration means that we will return to providing the classroom computer as an option for presentation needs. We will continue to provide options for connecting your laptop to the presentation system, and the use of the Solstice pod will also remain an option for faculty that wish to use “wireless presentation” capabilities. 

Training: Information Services will be conducting over 80 in-classroom training sessions prior to the start of the semester. While we will have a training video posted in SpiderTechNet, and we will offer several virtual training sessions as well, we do strongly encourage faculty to attend one of the in-classroom, hands on, training sessions that will be led by one of our TMSS technicians.  The training schedule is currently being developed (and we will be working with our Events Management Team to schedule the spaces). We expect to post the final schedule of times, buildings, and rooms, by the end of July. Training will begin on Monday, August 9th, and run through Friday, August 20th. We will generally run 8 sessions per day, Monday through Friday, and we will also offer several evening sessions. The sessions will last approximately one hour, and registration will not be required. The schedule will be posted in SpiderTechNet as soon as it is complete, and we will provide additional communications via SpiderBytes.   

Please note that because the schedule for completing the work in classroom spaces will take us into mid-August, and our tech resources that are dedicated to in-classroom training, we will not be able to accept requests for one on one training sessions until after the start of the semester. 

Tech Talk: There is one COVID-related service that we will continue at the start of the fall semester.  The TMSS team will host 4 sessions of “Tech Talk”, to be held on 4 consecutive Fridays after the start of the semester.  The first session will be on Friday, August 27th. Tech Talk is an opportunity for faculty to talk directly with our tech staff, and to ask questions, provide feedback, etc.  These conversations were helpful to our tech team during the start of the spring semester, and we hope that faculty will continue to find value in these discussions.  The schedule (and virtual meeting information) will be made available in SpiderTechNet at the same time the room schedule is posted. 

Using Spider-TechNet: We are in the process of updating or developing new information dedicated to the return to campus of all faculty, staff, and students, as well as important resources that connect to classroom technology configurations.  All of the areas mentioned above will include knowledge base articles dedicated to specific topical areas, such as the use of Panopto, or how to request assistance for VTC needs. We will also list out all of the rooms that are equipped with lecture capture capabilities, using installed equipment. 

We encourage you to review SpiderTechNet periodically throughout the summer, as we will be continuously updating and posting new information.  Please feel free to contact us directly at telecom@richmond.edu if you have any questions about classroom technology configurations. 

Respectfully,

Doug West
Assistant Vice President for Telecommunications,
Multimedia Support Services, User Services, and
Academic Computing Services

Details

Article ID: 134577
Created
Mon 7/19/21 10:22 AM
Modified
Wed 8/25/21 9:44 AM