What’s New in Classroom AV (Fall 2015)

The Media Services team in ITS has been busy making improvements to classrooms this summer. In addition to our usual upgrades to projectors and lectern computers, we’re announcing a few major new services that will be of interest to many of you.

AirMedia wireless projection

For years, we’ve dreamed of being able to project while moving around the classroom with a tablet or laptop. Finally, the technologies to make this possible are arriving. We’ve installed AirMedia devices in 19 classrooms around campus. Not only can instructors project, they also can allow students to project from their laptops and devices too. Wireless projection is currently available in these locations:

  • Science Center 101, 104, 105, 113, 128, 145, 149, 161, 181, 183, 199, 246, 264, L26, L32;
  • McCabe 306, 320;
  • Beardsley 305;
  • Matchbox Tarble Commons.

For information about getting started, please see our AirMedia wireless projection help page or contact avbox@swarthmore.edu to request a demonstration.

Faster networking at the lecterns

Meanwhile, a top priority for this year has been to improve the performance of the built-in computers in classroom lecterns. We know that changeover time in classrooms is in short supply, so we’re tackling this from two directions. First, we’re moving away from installing Mac Minis to faster iMacs. (This primarily affects rooms everywhere outside the Science Center.) Second, we’ve eliminated a potential networking bottleneck inside our lecterns to make sure that any computer connected with a wired connection will have a full Gigabit connection.

Please remember that it takes a while for a classroom computer to set up your profile the first time that you use it. You’ll want to allow a little extra time before your first use of a classroom.

Where Did the DVD Drives Go?

Apple isn’t putting optical (DVD) drives in their computers anymore, so you’ll increasingly be unable to count on them being in your classroom. For the time being, most lecterns still have video DVD/Blu-ray players in them. If you need an optical drive to attach to the built-in computer, Media Services can loan you one.

Dual Projection in Science 199

We added a second projector and screen in Science 199. You can send the same image to both projectors; send different images to each projector; or turn on only one projector and still have room to roam.

Tarble Commons in Matchbox (3rd Floor)

We’re putting the finishing touches on installations of video projection and audio systems in Tarble Commons. If you have a chance to attend an event in the space this semester, we encourage you to provide feedback on the AV systems.

And Don’t Forget Zoom!

In case you missed our previous announcements, videoconferencing is available on campus in a big way with a product called Zoom. All Swarthmore faculty, staff, and students have a basic Zoom account— just go to http://swarthmore.zoom.us. Sign in with your Swarthmore College username and password. You can use Zoom to have an audio or video chat with anybody else, but you can invite up to two dozen people into a meeting. The only limit to a basic account is that you’re limited to 40 minutes per call. (To hold a meeting longer than 40 minutes, you need a Pro account. Just contact avbox@swarthmore.edu so we can upgrade your account.) For more information, see our Zoom help page.