September 2013

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Welcome back to the start of another school year! Digital Classroom Services has been busy over the summer. Here is a snapshot of what we have been up to.


51 Classroom Upgrades

DCS equipped fifty-one rooms with the latest version of the Digital Classroom Podium (or DCP). The newest version of the podium has been upgraded, and will continue to be improved, based on the feedback of faculty who use the DCP in their classrooms. These upgrades include changes to internal hardware to improve performance and reliability, as well as changes to the user interface to give it a cleaner look and make it more intuitive to use. This year, we have also introduced an auditorium version of the DCP - complete with dual projection, voice amplification, and preview monitors. New podiums were installed in the classrooms of Hickman Hall, Scott Hall, as well as in the 500-seat Allison Road Classroom 103. Podiums were also part of new classroom construction in Tillett Hall and the Heldrich Science Building. For more information about the new podiums, the list of rooms that were upgraded, and to watch a DCP being built from scratch, view our online article about the upgrades. And for more information about the grand re-opening of Tillett Hall - including a floor plan, photos, and classroom panoramas - check out our Tillett re-launch article.


DCS Opens a New Main Office

As part of the relaunch of Tillett Hall, we are pleased to announce the opening of our brand new main office on the building's first floor. The first thing visitor's to our new space will notice is the Training Center in Room 118, which opens up to the Tillett atrium. The Training Center will host DCS Workshops, provide a classroom environment where instructors can test out equipment, and be a laboratory where we pilot emerging trends in instructional technology. Around the corner in Room 112 is the DCS Help Desk. While instructors can continue to call our phone hotline for in-class assistance, now you can also pay us a visit. Stop by the Help Desk to borrow portable equipment, request assistance, learn how to use the Digital Classroom Podium, or report an in-class issue. For more information about our new space, including photos, view our Spotlight article announcing our move.


Upcoming DCS Workshops

This semester, DCS will hold workshops on Fridays in our brand new Training Center located in Tillett Hall - Room 118 on Livingston Campus. Workshops are held for all members of the Rutgers community. For more information and to register, please visit the DCS Workshops page.

Beyond PowerPoint – September 27 at 10am & November 1 at 1pm

Are you interested in using a computer-based presentation to enhance your class, but don't know where to begin? Are you a PowerPoint user looking for alternatives? Over the course of a half-hour, we will introduce you to some of the more commonly-used alternatives to PowerPoint - including Prezi, Keynote, SlideShark, and Adobe. We will feature presentation applications that require software purchases as well as free online options. The workshop will also demonstrate the various ways these presentation tools can be utilized in DCS classrooms.

What are they Thinking? Taking the Pulse of Your Class – October 4 at 1pm & November 8 at 10am

In this showcase workshop, we will demonstrate ways that you can poll your students and receive instant feedback during class. The applications we will discuss are web-based solutions for posing discussion topics, giving quizzes, and receiving questions in real time from your students through their phones, laptops, or tablets. We will focus on polling solutions that are quick, free, easy to use, and require no additional hardware aside from the mobile devices many faculty and students already use. Bring along your phone, laptop, or tablet and you can test out the polling applications during the workshop.

Perfecting Prezi – October 11 at 10am & November 15 at 1pm

Prezi is an exciting alternative to PowerPoint. It is a free, online program that enables you to create presentations that are not limited by a linear structure. Instead, presentation content can be laid out graphically in a manner that many find to be both more intuitive and flexible, allowing the presentation to follow class discussion. In Perfecting Prezi, we will provide you with an introduction to some of Prezi's most exciting features and explain the basic steps and short cuts you need to know to begin building your own presentation.

All About Apps: Our Top Picks – October 18 at 1pm & November 22 at 10am

The first in our series on teaching apps, this workshop will showcase some of the most exciting mobile apps available today. Our staff has waded through the multitude of apps and hand-picked the very best that are geared towards teaching. We will highlight presentation apps that help turn your mobile device into a white board, video apps that help you edit and incorporate videos into presentations, and slide show apps that help you create and run lectures from your hand-held. We will also introduce you to apps designed to make your life easier, including apps for taking notes, scanning documents, and organizing classroom materials. While this workshop will discuss apps available on a variety of phones and tablets, we will focus especially on the best free apps for iPads. You do not need to bring a mobile device to attend.

Giving Engaging Digital Presentations – October 25 at 10am & December 6 at 1pm

Do you feel that your slide presentation is going over the head of your students? Does your class spend more time copying down your slides than paying attention to you? In Giving Engaging Digital Presentations, we will discuss techniques for creating and giving engrossing digital presentations. We will spend time highlighting some simple tips that can make your presentation more clear and attention grabbing. We will also delve into graphic considerations for making stylish and clean-looking slides. The topics we cover will apply to all slide-based presentations, regardless of your preferred program.

Emerging Technology Now – January 17 at 10am & 1pm

As you get your syllabus and materials together for your upcoming classes, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the technology you will be using during the semester. To best afford faculty the opportunity to learn about and test their classroom’s technology, DCS will hold two workshops before spring classes begin. These workshops will cover each of the four main types of DCS technology you may find in your classroom: the Digital Classroom Podium, Crestron Touchscreen System, SP Push Button System, and Pixie Push Button System. If you are teaching in one of these rooms, you can attend the Emerging Technology Now workshop and have a chance to learn how to use our equipment. Simply come to the the DCS Training Center and our staff will bring you to a classroom where we will familiarize you with the equipment you will be using during the semester. We also encourage faculty to bring any media – laptop, DVDs, documents – that you would like to test with the equipment.


Webcams and Wireless Presenters Now Available

DCS is now offering two additional types of equipment for delivery or loan: webcams and wireless presenters. Web cameras offer a great, simple way to video chat during class with students in other locations or bring in a guest lecturer without the hassle of travel. Wireless presenters provide instructors with the means to run a computer-based presentation from anywhere in the room, allowing them to step away from the computer and interact directly with students. To request a webcam, wireless presenter, or any of the other portable equipment we offer, please fill out an Equipment Request form. For more information on the webcams and wireless presenters we are offering, view our Spotlight article.