We are keeping our eyes open investigating new technologies and teaching and learning trends. Here is a sample of some of the technologies we are investigating in the ETC:
Tablets: There are many applications (apps) and advantages to using a tablet for learning that traditional computers interfaces can not offer. It is small, mobile, interactive and cost effective compared to traditional computers. The tablet will not replace the computer any time soon, but it offers many advantages to learning that were not available in the past. Technologies in the ETC: Ipad and Samsung Galaxy Tab
Digital Whiteboarding: Today you can turn your whiteboard into an innovative tool that can be shared instantly with your students and colleagues. This is also a great tool for brainstorming. Technology in the ETC: E-Beam
3D projectors: Recently several companies have unveiled 3D DLP projector systems for use in higher ed. Why 3D? To provide students with immersive learning experiences.
On the books
ITServices provides dedicated videoconferencing facilities and has both a small classroom and boardroom available for use by the Queen’s community. There are costs attached to these services to cover technical support. Increasingly we are being asked for an alternative solution. For some people using our webconferencing tool is the answer. For some applications we simply suggest the use of a product like Skype. But, for others, none of these solutions is ideal. We are investigating other alternatives and are currently exploring hardware and software solutions.
Anticipated date of decision? 2012, 1st Quarter
Streaming front end
The Streaming Service allows for the broadcasting of audio and video content over the internet. Once a file is uploaded to the streaming server, the content can be displayed in a webpage, a learning management system (e.g., Moodle), and many other online applications. Uploading of material to the streaming service has proven difficult for some of our users as it currently requires some level of technical skill. We are investigating a more “friendly” front end, ideally one that will also provide additional functionality.
Anticipated date of decision? 2011, 4th Quarter
It seems everywhere you turn there’s talk of mobile computing and the opportunities it may provide to teaching and learning. ITServices has begun to explore these technologies and will be producing recommendations: what to look for when purchasing, suggested “apps”, as well as exploring how the technology can be used in higher education.