Summer Upgrades Wrapping Up

As you return to campus, you may notice a few improvements to Rutgers classrooms. DCS has been busy designing, building, and installing the latest batch of Digital Classroom Podiums. The DCPs have been deployed as part of upgrades to existing classrooms and installed in brand new teaching spaces being unveiled this fall.

All told, DCS has built and deployed fifty-one new podiums this summer - a department record! Fifteen rooms in Hickman Hall received Digital Classroom Podiums. When combined with last years upgrades, this building now has twenty-two DCPs. After upgrading seventeen Scott Hall rooms, every Scott classroom now has a DCP. Allison Road Classroom 103, a five hundred seat auditorium, received new seating and a Digital Classroom Podium this summer. Heldrich Science Building 206, a brand new classroom, has also been equipped with a DCP. Not to be forgotten, seventeen Digital Classroom Podiums were installed as part of the brand new classroom construction in Tillett Hall.

The Digital Classroom Podium was initially installed in twenty-seven rooms last summer as part of a pilot program. During the year, DCS staff worked closely with instructors to determine what changes could be made to improve usability and performance. Based on faculty surveys and the input from instructional technologists, several changes have been made to both the inside and outside of the podium. The result is the DCP 1.2. In this version of the Digital Classroom Podium, the Podium Controller - the user interface from which instructors operate the system - has been paired down to be cleaner and more intuitive. Meanwhile, DCS staff has redesigned the internal components of the podium to improve many aspects of performance, including responsiveness and reliability.

Over the course of the year our engineers also expanded the functionality of the DCP to tailor it for use in larger spaces. This summer marks the introduction of the DCP A1, a version of the podium designed for auditoriums and lecture halls. The A1 has been engineered to provide voice amplification in large teaching spaces and has been widened to allow space for a preview monitor, amplifiers, and storage for microphones and cables. We have added dual projection for several wide and large classrooms. The document camera in the A1 is on a weighted lift, allowing instructors to adjust it to their preferred writing height. Also enjoying its inaugural run this fall will be the DCP 1.2ds, which is featured in Tillett Hall 224. Instead of projection screens, this room utilizes two widescreen, high-definition, LCD monitors.

DCS's Technical Services and Operations staff created this year's batch of podiums from scratch in our "DCS lab." After receiving podium shells - our staff populates, wires, and programs each DCP. While staff from Facilities and the Office of Information Technology upgrade the classrooms with power, wiring, and data connections, DCS applies decals and tests each podium. Once they are ready to go, our staff loads the podiums on to the DCS van and delivers them to their new homes. After wiring and final checks, the podiums are ready for their debut in Rutgers classes. To see the process unfold, take a look at the video of a day in the life of one of our DCP 1.2s, as DCS Engineer Justin Kowalczyk and team bring a podium from lab to classroom.

Complete List of Summer 2013 Classroom Upgrades:

Click on a room number to view a 360 degree panorama, a list of room features, and the technical specifications of each classroom.

Digital Classroom Podium 1.2:
Heldrich Science Building: 206
Hickman Hall: 112, 113, 118, 119, 126, 127, 130, 131, 132, 201, 205, 210, 214, 216
Scott Hall: 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 114, 115, 116, 119, 120, 121, 201, 202, 215, 216, 220, 221
Tillett Hall: 103A, 103B, 103C, 103D, 105, 230, 246, 251, 252

Digital Classroom Podium A1:
Allison Road Classroom: 103
Tillett Hall: 226, 232, 242, 253, 254, 257, 258, 264

Digital Classroom Podium 1.2ds
Tillett Hall: 224