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PCC classrooms take a giant leap into the digital age

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PCC technicians will be updating outdated analog equipment for video conferencing.

PCC technicians are updating video conferencing equipment to all digital, high definition systems.

December 20, 2013
Written by Christine Egan

Thanks to the bond measure passed by voters in 2008, PCC is pulling the plug on outdated analog, standard definition equipment in four of its classrooms to redevelop them as “enhanced classrooms” with video conferencing capabilities, “lecture capture” devices and “smart podiums.”

“We are creating an ‘interactive video classroom’ at each of the main campuses and Southeast Center. Students and instructors will definitely see a difference after we replace the 10-year old video conferencing equipment in these four classrooms with all digital, high definition systems. They will see clearer images, higher video quality and truer colors ,” said Scott Craig, the Media Services Specialist with the PCC Bond Program.

In an IVC classroom, "lecture capture" microphones suspended from the ceiling record an instructor's presentation and student discussions during a face-to-face class.

In an interactive video classroom, “lecture capture” microphones suspended from the ceiling record an instructor’s presentation and student discussions during a face-to-face class.

New “lecture capture” devices from mediasite will make it possible to simultaneously record an instructor’s in-class lecture and presentation materials. These digitally recorded lectures will then be archived on PCC’s server for distribution to students via the web.

“The mediasite devices will take classroom instruction beyond the brick and mortar – allowing PCC to offer more distance learning opportunities and easier access for students to review  material if they miss a face-to-face IVC class or need to prepare for a test. They can sit at home or in a coffee shop listening to the class lecture and viewing materials on their laptops, desktops or smart phones,” said Steve Beining, PCC’s new eLearning and Instructional Technology Manager.

Instructors use an interactive touch screen desktop to display a screen-based presentation that can be modified directly on a large digital screen.

Instructors use an interactive touch screen desktop to display a screen-based presentation that can be modified directly on a large digital screen.

Instructors can annotate a presentation directly onto the SMART digital screen as part of the lecture and discussion.

Instructors can annotate a presentation directly onto the SMART digital screen as part of the lecture and discussion.

In interactive video classrooms, instructors can use SMART technology – an interactive touch screen on a desktop monitor  – to display and interact with screen-based presentations during class. Instructors can annotate presentations directly on the digital screen as they teach.  After the class, an instructor can save the materials and written comments on the screen in a digital format and then share that information by sending web links via an email message, web post or Desire2Learn.

“The current upgrades bring state-of-the-art Interactive Video Classroom tools to PCC. While PCC has had IVC and ITV (interactive television or teleconferencing) courses for more than a decade, going digital reinvigorates and extends the life of our interactive video classrooms. The digital equipment makes teaching and learning within these unique spaces easier and, thus, more effective. This helps PCC meet its core mission of delivering accessible, quality education to our community,” said Beining.

By early 2014, each of PCC’s three main campuses and Southeast Center will have a new interactive video classroom:

  • Sylvania Campus  – Technology Classroom Building, Room 107
  • Rock Creek Campus – Building 9, Room 201
  • Cascade Campus – Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, Room 216
  • Southeast Center  – Mt. Tabor Hall, Room 120

PCC’s 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/about/bond/about.

About Christine Egan

Christine Egan is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and has a graduate degree in land use and environmental planning. Prior to her Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic, she lived in Washington DC serving as a legislative advisor to ... more »

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