Information, Technology & Consulting

Department Spotlight: Classroom Technology Services

Eighty five percent of Dartmouth's Arts and Sciences classrooms and public assembly spaces are equipped with innovations that make learning more collaborative and engaging. Dartmouth Computing Services' Classroom Technology Services develops, manages, and maintains these technology systems, standing behind the scenes for many successful undergraduate courses, academic conferences, administrative functions, and campus events.

Interface sat down with Associate Director for Classroom Technology Services Andrew Faunce to learn more about his department's role at Dartmouth.

Who's on the Classroom Technology Team and what do they do?

The CTS operations team directly helps faculty and students use technology during class and assists campus departments with tech support for conferences and after-hours programs. Lead Operations Technician Rich Stanton coordinates the group's activities; Class Day Operations Technicians Matthew Banker, Christopher Ivanyi, and Dustin Maurice support the faculty teaching in the areas of campus they cover; and Evening Operations Technician Stephen Dulli provides event services to the entire campus after-hours. Scheduling and Support Specialist Norma Rose Williams provides phone support and general administrative support during class hours and provides events services as needed.

The CTS support team develops and maintains classroom technology systems used by the faculty and other campus presenters. Lead Support Technician Richard O'Brien manages classroom renovation projects and upgrades, and Master Support Technician Keith Borgstrom performs repairs and regular maintenance to keep these systems operational. Support Technician James Goodrich maintains several subsets of these systems: classroom computers and videoconferencing, capture, and signage systems. The support team also helps with events services.

What are classroom technology trends?

Students working together in and out of the classroom. Moveable tables and chairs are standard in flat floor classrooms, and in recent renovations we've added marker boards and outlets around the room perimeter to facilitate group work. In a few locations, we’ve provided dedicated displays and marker boards for student team use. Several classrooms have videoconferencing systems, and most of these can be augmented for desktop-based conferencing or for bringing remote experts into the classroom discussion. We have an Echo 360 lecture capture pilot underway in which we'll be partnering with our Educational Technologies colleagues to introduce a Lecture Tools active learning experience for both in-class and out-of-class activities. The active learning experience is social and engaging: the faculty member may post video materials to review before class, share the in-class presentation for students to mark up and comment on during class, and record the lecture for after class review. Students can have access to classmates' notes and may engage one another through an embedded social media experience.

Another trend is BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. For our next round of projects we're exploring  a wireless display/collaboration solution so students can easily project their work from their laptop, iOS, or Android device on the room's screen from any location in the classroom.

How are classrooms upgraded and maintained over time?

Central classrooms are developed through major construction projects, such as the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center and, more commonly, through proposals to renovate existing space approved by the Classroom Committee.  Some classroom projects have been influenced by individual faculty projects sponsored through the Educational Technology Group's Learning Technology Venture Fund.

Once a central classroom is equipped, CTS maintains the technology and upgrades it on a regular basis through the Maintenance and Replacement program jointly sponsored by Computing Services and FO&M. Any classroom needs can be communicated to me directly or emailed to Classroom Technology Services.

What other departments do you support? Who are your key partners?

In addition to the Arts and Sciences academic departments and programs, CTS key customers include Alumni Relations, the Academic Centers, and individual administrative units. We partner with the Undergraduate Registrar, Conferences and Events, and our IT peers to support course and events needs. We partner with Facilities, Operations, and Management (FO&M) and our IT peers to maintain and further develop the central classroom technology systems that support teaching and learning and Dartmouth's related business needs.

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