latest news & information
2013 Classroom Refresh
SmartClassroom technology continues to be refreshed through the eTech Initiative. During Summer 2013, OIT CTS performed infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades in 18 Social Science Lab classrooms, 13 trailer classrooms, 4 lecture halls, 3 Steinhaus Hall classrooms, and 1 Social Ecology II classroom.
In 2012, OIT CTS completed similar improvements to 20 Humanities Hall classrooms, 2 Social Science area lecture halls, 1 Humanities Instructional Building classroom, and 1 Intercollegiate Athletics Building classroom.
For all refresh information, please visit our Classrooms & Lecture Halls page, the individual classroom pages or view the document below:
Refresh Project Summary (pdf)
SmartTrailers Are Missing!!!
Well, unfortunately the trailers themselves are still here... But their distinctions as SmartTrailers are gone for good. As part of the 2013 classroom refresh project, all trailer classroom equipment was upgraded to full SmartClassroom version 2 equipment.
What the heck does that mean? Each room contains a new instructor station with a computer, blu-ray player, laptop cables, and all the other amenities of SmartClassrooms. Learn more about version 1 and version 2 SmartClassrooms here: SmartClassroom List
Or, learn more about your particular classroom here: Classroom Info & Pictures
VHS Tape Usage in Campus Classrooms
SmartClassrooms that were built after 2011 no longer contain VHS/DVD decks by default. Starting in 2012, the 20-30 classrooms per year having their technology refreshed will receive Blu-ray decks in place of VHS decks. As a result, permanently installed VHS decks will be phased out of all SmartClassrooms by the start of Fall 2016.
VHS tapes can still be temporarily accommodated in classrooms that no longer contain them. VHS decks may be picked up for loan from the OIT CTS office, your department, or support centers such as the Humanities Instructional Resource Center or Social Science Computing Services, and connected to the RCA inputs on the side of the SmartClassroom lectern. For the long term, we recommend that materials currently on VHS tape should be re-purchased in digital format as available, or converted to digital format where copyright allows. For assistance and information, please contact your subject librarian, your school computing support staff, or OIT CTS staff.
Complete information on VHS usage in the classrooms is available here:
VHS Usage Information
New eTech Policy for Student Groups
As of Fall Quarter 2013, student groups will no longer be charged for the use of installed SmartClassroom equipment.
Reservations will still need to be made through through Student Center & Event Services (824-5252), and standard late fees will still be applied to reservations made or altered within three full business days of the event. Please visit our classroom policy page for more information.
Audience Response System - i>clicker
What is audience response? At UCI, it means that we have equipment available to collect responses from handheld devices purchased by the students. These devices (commonly called "clickers") enable students to respond to a question by pressing one of the keys on the clicker, much like using a TV remote control. The instructor determines when students may use the clickers and can optionally show a histogram of student votes at the end of each response period on the projection screen.
Faculty are using this technology now to get immediate feedback on student comprehension and as a means of encouraging students to keep up with assigned reading and attend lecture. Some courses are even using the system to conduct weekly quizzes.
To participate, students will need to buy an audience response clicker. These are inexpensive, and a student only has to buy one, because they will use the same clicker in any UCI class that uses the technology. When the clicker is purchased, the student visits a website to register their device's serial number so that they can receive credit for using it in classes. Over 5000 UCI undergraduates have purchased these devices since Fall 2006.
For more information about this technology or for help in using it, please visit our web pages on audience response at UCI. You are also welcome to contact Dave McCue at (949) 824-4210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to read more about the audience response equipment we use from the maker of the system, please visit http://www.iclicker.com/ (opens in a new browser window).
Wide-Tipped Whiteboard Markers Available
Instructors only - Are you using a whiteboard in a large SmartClassroom? Are you concerned that students in the back rows can't read what's on the board because of narrow-tipped whiteboard markers? We now have a solution! Artline 5109A Big Nib Whiteboard Markers.
Contact OIT-CTS, then come by our office in AIRB 3070 to pick up a box for the quarter.
OIT has introduced a new audio/screen capture service which can be voluntarily used by instructors, employees, and departments who wish to easily record classes or presentations. UCI Replay is available on all SmartClassroom computers, and can also be downloaded to office or personal computers for UCI use.
For instructions and additional information on UCI Replay, visit: http://replay.oit.uci.edu/About_UCI_Replay/
Mac Laptop Brightness Issues
Have you noticed a significantly dimmer image lately when connecting your Mac laptop to a SmartClassroom podium? Your problem may be due to a change Apple made in a recent update to Mac OS, resulting in a much darker default image when using the external display.
Perform the following calibration to obtain a better projected image. When you are done, you should be amazed at how good the new projected image looks!
- First, connect your laptop to an external display (you can use a smartclassroom VGA cable, or connect to a projector or monitor elsewhere)
- Open System Preferences
- Open Displays, and select the external (VGA) display
- Hit Calibrate
- Check the box enabling Expert Mode, and follow the directions as you are guided through the calibration process