Four Conference Room Upgrades Completed Over the Summer

COLLEGE PARK, MD (August, 2014) – The College now has three additional non-classroom areas outfitted with technology for projection (0304, 0305 and 3119f), as well as a major enhancement to the primary, and formerly lone resource, the College conference room, thanks to a major investment by the dean’s office.
Educational Technology Services (ETS) managed the overall project, requiring coordination with the campus Division of IT, Facilities Management, and two external vendors.

Dean Donna Wiseman had been considering upgrades to 3237 since 2012, but the final expanded plan was the result of a discussion between Dean Wiseman and ETS director Steve Pragel based on the Faculty Advisory Committee on Technology’s Report on Progress and Recommendations for Technology Initiatives in the COE Strategic Plan from May of 2013. Recommendation three of that report, under technology as a critical enabler, focused on infrastructure enhancement. That report resulted in Dean Wiseman’s request to expand the scope to initially three and ultimately four rooms. This set of upgrades will not only increase the appeal of those conference rooms, but as a corollary, will reduce the pressure on College classrooms, which were often easier to use than setting up technology in an otherwise empty conference room.

Budget was approved in January, and Scope-of-Work meetings began soon thereafter. The ETS desk manager, Joe Robertson, was instrumental in coordinating many of the pieces and pulling it all together. Specifically, the rooms are outfitted as follows:

Benjamin Conference room 0304/0305

0304/0305 - Shared Conference Rooms:

Both have integrated SMART projectors with a standard whiteboard, which can be used as a digital interactive whiteboard. There is a patch panel for connecting VGA or HDMI connections from a user-supplied device. In order to use the enhanced capabilities of the SMART device, users must install a small program on their computer, but the board will operate as a touch-screen in most instances without that step.

Benjamin Conference Room 3119f

3119f – Dean’s Office Conference Room:

This room had a large, flat-panel screen installed with a wall-mounted patch panel for a user-supplied device. It does not have touch-screen capabilities.

Benjamin Conference Room 3237

3237 – College Conference Room:

Enhanced projection with HDMI capability, and wide-screen projection, as well as supplemental flat-panel wall display in the rear of the room are the first noticeable enhancements to this room. User access is improved to the wireless keyboard, integrated computer and input ports in a small, wood cabinet. Finally, basic videoconferencing capabilities have been added, including a portable web/document camera and integrated ceiling microphones.

To arrange a tour of these new rooms, or to obtain training on their operation, please contact Joe Robertson (x55576 or Joe is also working on documentation for self-guided instruction, which will be located in each room.