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Information Technology

Instructional Media Services Upgrade

September 04, 2013

Over the Summer, the staff in Instructional Media Services worked on over $500,000 worth of projects. Twenty-six classrooms received upgraded digital projection systems (the remaining classrooms will be upgraded over the next two summers). Those using the upgraded rooms will find HDMI connections (although we will support VGA connections for the foreseeable future), new dvd/vhs combo decks, and Blu-ray playback. As before, IMS will have adapters available to loan for Mac laptops and iOS devices to allow connection to these inputs.

The IMS Resource Lab has added a Cubex 3D printer to its stable of cutting edge machinery over the summer. The 3D printer has the ability to print objects created using 3D modeling software, such as Google Sketchup (free) and print them out in various colors of PLA starch-based plastic. Some examples of prints we’ve created over the summer include: spheres, pyramids,containers, a boomerang and a replica of a Tardis!

Data projectors will soon be installed in the science labs in the basement of BioPsych, Rogers 217, Albany Smith Hall, Albany 218 and 220, Watzek library classroom, Fields 206, 209 and 304, and Flanagan Chapel.

Our CIO, Adam Buchwald, asked for and received funding to create a “classroom of the future”, and charged IMS with researching, purchasing and deploying innovative technology to be used in this classroom. Toward that goal, we purchased an InFocus Mondopad—a 55” monitor with a built-in computer running Windows 7, touch-screen interface, and a simplified shell operating system enabling easy access to videoconferencing, interactive whiteboarding, document annotation, etc. We also purchased some video equipment to use for a classroom videoconferencing experiment during fall semester, and are researching other technologies to try out.

Our student assistants greatly improved our website, adding descriptions and images of our pool of loaner equipment. We added a variety of useful items like adapters for iOS devices, laptop power supplies, USB chargers (both plug-in and battery powered) for portable devices, remote controls, USB transcription software and foot pedal playback controllers, calculators. Have a look at our website for the full list.