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Digital Tech: Coming to a Classroom Near You

New technology in a Jacobs Management Center classroom.

By Marisela Lugo

Published December 2, 2015

Marisela Lugo (UB Student, Class of 2017) was born and raised in Bronx, NY. She is an active member in UB's Latin-based clubs: PODER and LASA. After assisting with and appearing in Cosmopolitan for Latinas’ Summer 2015 fashion forecast, she decided to major in Communications and Media Studies with dreams of working in print media.

In May 2014, UB began upgrading classrooms to digital technology to better serve faculty needs. If your classes aren’t in a digitally-enhanced classroom yet, chances are they will be soon.

Upgraded classrooms now have digital and analog inputs, which allow professors to more easily share students’ lectures, videos, or other materials. Greg Nolte, Instructional Support Specialist for Network and Classroom Services, part of UB Information Technology, is the project manager for the digital classroom upgrades. He told UBIT News, “The systems we’re replacing in classrooms are analog, so they can't accept the digital outputs from newer laptops and PCs.”

Greg added, “Overhead transparency projectors are getting harder to find parts for and repair. We’re replacing them with document cameras, or real time image capture devices that can display objects or images to the entire class.”

UBIT staff has incorporated Americans Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines into the upgrades, particularly in classroom cabinets. This required the cabinets to be made a standard, accessible height and depth. Touchscreen number pads have also replaced the outdated dial combination locks on the cabinets.

As of November 2015, 65 classroom upgrades have been completed throughout the North, South and Downtown campuses. 12 more classrooms are scheduled for completion before the Fall 2015 semester ends, with the project continuing through 2018.  

In order to complete this project, one classroom is taken out of use each week. Without the cooperation and flexibility of faculty and students, these upgrades would be impossible.

“We really appreciate the faculty being willing to move their class for a week during the semester in order to make these upgrades,” Greg added. “The inconvenience should be worth it when they return to a classroom of new features.”