5.4.2 Classroom Resources
Effective planning and maintenance of technology-rich classrooms involves
a variety of concerns. These include the redesigning of traditional classrooms
into electronic classrooms that need initial installation as well as regular
maintenance, upgrades, technical support, and security. Planning for electronic
classrooms in new or renovated buildings is also essential. Additional concerns
about effective planning and maintenance of classroom resources include scheduling
and access to technology systems requiring log-ins as well as installation
of software for particular classes. Finally, effective planning of classroom
resources includes consideration of new technologies, like wireless and mobile
computing, Internet2, and videoconferencing.
Redesigning traditional classrooms as electronic
classrooms. In the past five years, SCSU has been very successful
in redesigning and equipping traditional classrooms as electronic classrooms
with a basic level of instructional technology, including the following:
- an instructor’s station with a built-in multimedia computer
- a projection screen
- a means of projecting materials from the local computer onto the projection
- a sound system
- an Internet connection
- a VCR and/or DVD
As of Fall 2003, 103 of the 144 classrooms that Academic
Affairs currently schedules for courses will be equipped as electronic classrooms;
a request that an additional 20 rooms be equipped through a MnSCU capital
improvement initiative is in process. Our goal is to redesign the remainder
of these classrooms as electronic classrooms during the life of this five-year
technology plan. SCSU has been successful in developing electronic classrooms
with the assistance of the Student Technology Fee Committee. This committee
has budgeted for total cost of ownership (TCO) in its authorization of the
renovations of 15 of these traditional classrooms into electronic classrooms
Currently, as new installations are completed, phones have
been added to these electronic classrooms so that teachers have a direct
connection to technology support during class times. Approval of the new
phone system this spring should enable SCSU to expedite installation of phones
in all computer classrooms within the next two years. (See 5.20.2.)
Existing concerns about classroom resources include the following:
- 30-40 classrooms with equipment that is five years old should be upgraded
and the TCO figured into the replacement/maintenance plan for these spaces.
- Nine first-generation projectors that are seven years old should be
- Another issue is lamp replacement. As more electronic classrooms come
online, factoring lamp replacement into the TCO is especially important.
- Some computer and projector equipment has been lost to theft; replacement
equipment as well as the security systems to protect against such theft — security
cages, sonic alarms on cables, and costs for special locks or card swipes — must
be factored into the TCO.
- Given the current budgetary pressure that is pushing up class sizes,
more large classrooms are needed with media (projector and computer) and
sound systems (including microphones) to meet demand.
- Given the increased use of collaboration in classrooms, electronic classroom
configurations (with student workstations and connectivity) that support
group work and collaboration are needed.
- Given the potential for technology failures, every electronic classroom
should have a low-tech backup (such as a whiteboard and markers).
Planning for technology in new and renovated buildings.
In addition to concerns about classroom technology resources in current classroom
buildings, we should plan for technology every time we construct a new building
or renovate an old one. Indeed, classroom technology should be a part of
the overall SCSU Facilities Utilization and SCSU Physical Master Plans. Presently,
Lawrence Hall is being renovated, and Centennial Hall and Riverview are included
in MnSCU’s requests for capital improvement. When these renovations
(and others) are being planned, it is essential that primary users be involved
in the design of technology spaces. In addition, every time SCSU renovates
a space, the university should build into the renovation plans the costs
of infrastructure for telecommunications, power outlets, lighting, acoustics,
and ergonomic furniture so that retrofitting for technology is minimal. Maintaining
and supporting that technology (TCO) should also be part of the planning.
Scheduling, logins, and classroom training.
Additional issues concerning classroom resources relate to campus-wide scheduling
and to teacher training:
- A scheduling system, perhaps a centralized scheduling system, is needed
- to facilitate effective use of classroom space and
- to enable departments and programs that do not "own" electronic
classrooms or large classrooms with presentation equipment access to
A committee currently working on Resource 25 may be addressing these issues.
- When faculty from other departments or adjuncts use department or program
systems with logins (such as the Novell network in ECC), they need access
to logins. Developing a common log-in system (perhaps Campus Desktop) might
take care of such access problems.
- Faculty should be trained to teach in these electronic classroom spaces:
they should be trained to integrate technology into their pedagogy (see
5.4.3) and trained so they are able to trouble-shoot equipment problems
during class; they shouldn’t simply be trained to set up the classroom
by pushing buttons (see 5.17).
Requesting software. Computers in electronic
classrooms are loaded with a bundle of core software to meet general student
and faculty needs. In some cases, however, faculty need additional software
to be installed on the instructor's and/or students' computers to achieve
classroom goals, and the process and timeline for making such requests isn't
always clear. Therefore, the system for requesting software needs to be reviewed
and communicated to faculty to ensure that software is available on classroom
computers during the class times students and faculty need to use it. This
formal system should enable faculty to make software requests once classrooms
have been scheduled and in plenty of time for technologists to install the
Integrating new technology in the classroom.
Finally, SCSU needs to plan for the integration of new technology in the
classroom. For instance, an important new technology is Internet2, a separate
pipeline from the ones used by current commercial and educational users with
a much greater capacity and speed, linking over 200 universities worldwide.
Internet2 is useful
- for access to huge databases (of bioinformatics, for instance) or data,
images, and digitized collections (like the Smithsonian)
- for applications like remote control of scientific instruments, such
as mountaintop telescopes and electron microscopes
- for real-time access to high-definition quality video broadcasts of
live performances for media streaming, etc.
In addition, videoconferencing over Internet2 is critical
for connections outside of the state since videoconferencing requires a steady
pipeline and is free if Internet2 is already available. MnSCU Office of the
Chancellor (IT) should be asked to facilitate this application of technology.
International videoconferencing and internationalization of programming would
be possible via Internet2, and ITV in this way could be incorporated into
Another relatively new technology with potential for classroom
use is wireless and mobile computing. (See 5.11.1.)
In the next five years, SCSU will
- fully fund the replacement/maintenance plan for classroom resources
(targeting a three-year replacement cycle for computers)
- expand the number of rooms with presentation equipment, targeting large
- expand the number of technology-enhanced spaces for teaching (student
- plan for the total cost of ownership when planning for technology in
new or renovated buildings
- explore means of addressing theft in electronic classrooms, including
prevention (i.e. security systems, communication about security, and training
about security) and planning (replacement costs and security systems as
part of TCO)
- provide on-call support during classes (by including a telephone in
- define the role of LR&TS technologists, college technologists, and
student workers in supporting electronic classrooms
- provide training in the effective use of these spaces
- integrating technology with pedagogy
- trouble-shooting equipment during class
- explore centralized scheduling and logins for computer systems to facilitate
effective use of classroom space and to enable departments and programs
equal access to electronic classrooms, including large classrooms with
- formalize a system for requesting software installation in electronic
classrooms and communicate that system to faculty
- explore integration of new technology (like Internet2 and mobile computing)
into classroom spaces
Specific Actions and Timeline
A committee comprising technologists supporting electronic classrooms, faculty,
students, and other stakeholders will be developed to focus on classroom
resources for this plan.
- The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying out
and reporting on specific actions necessary to accomplish the goals for classroom
resources in this part of the technology plan.
- During the 2007/2008 academic year, the committee will produce a final report
on assessment of the effects of technology on student learning and classrooms
and a planning document for the next five-year plan. These will be submitted
to TLTR by February 1, 2008, for review.
Resources to support electronic classrooms should be well defined in order
to provide consistent and reliable service in these areas. Specific support
should be tied to particular cost-centers, and all stakeholders should be
aware of their obligation to support all types of electronic classrooms.
- Has the committee planned for full funding of the replacement/maintenance
plan for classroom resources
- Has the university allocated resources to support full funding of the replacement/maintenance
- Has SCSU expanded the number of rooms with presentation equipment, including
- Has SCSU expanded the number of technology-enhanced spaces for teaching
- Has SCSU planned for the total cost of ownership when planning for technology
in new or renovated buildings?
- Has the committee explored means of addressing theft in electronic classrooms
and made recommendations concerning prevention and planning (for equipment
loss and for security systems as part of TCO)?
- Has the university provided on-call support during classes (by including
a telephone in every classroom)?
- Has the committee defined the roles of LR&TS technologists, college
technologists, and student workers in supporting electronic classrooms?
- Has the university provided training in the effective use of electronic
- Has the committee explored and made recommendations concerning centralized
scheduling and logins for computer systems to facilitate effective use
of classroom space and to enable departments and programs equal access
to electronic classrooms?
- Has the committee formalized a system for requesting software installation
in electronic classrooms and communicated that system to faculty?
- Has the committee explored integration of new technology (like Internet2)
into classroom spaces?
- Has the committee completed a final report?
- Has the committee developed recommendations for the next technology planning
Revised: May 2003