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Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition

By Gabrielle Gosset

Published October 17, 2014

How does UBIT test the newest technology before it goes into the classrooms? We took a tour of the Learning Spaces Research & Development classroom.

Gabrielle Gosset (UB Student, Class of 2016) is studying Electrical Engineering and dreams of inventing something someday. In her free time, she enjoys writing, playing video games and watching cooking shows.

Room of Wonders

Located in the Computing Center, the Learning Spaces R&D classroom has been involved in testing for over a year. It’s the perfect location for Network and Classroom Services, part of the VPCIO’s area and UB Information Technology, to have staff test and make changes before implementing a new service or technology.

The ability to test in a closed environment ensures services and classrooms won’t be affected. As John Pfeffer, Technical Program Manager of Learning Spaces for NCS, added, “We want to ensure the reliability of the network is not affected while we work on integrating new and exciting technology for classrooms at UB.”

Before & After

When older projectors needed to be updated in the classrooms, they need to be replaced quickly. Multiple types of projectors were tested thoroughly for brightness, quality, and to ensure they would work with both the current and new digital teaching stations. John explains, “We wanted to make sure that the new brand of projectors functioned similarly to the old stations and worked flawlessly with our control systems in the teaching stations.”

The new digital teaching stations were also tested in the R&D space before being put in place in eight classrooms this fall. This space was also instrumental in testing the Apple TV pilot, which was implemented in five classrooms starting Fall 2014. The addition of the simple-to-use AirPlay software included with iOS devices allows easy streaming of videos or PowerPoint presentations. The latest additions to classroom technology are, as John says, “just the beginning of what UB plans for the future of instructional technology.”

Share Your Thoughts

John welcomes questions about the testing room and new technology for classrooms. He can reached directly via email at jpfeffer@buffalo.edu, or share your thoughts with UB on Twitter @UBinfotech or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UBInformationTechnology.

John added, “UBIT values transparency when it comes to the Learning Spaces R&D room and newly integrated or possible future technology for classrooms at UB.”