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Cost-Effective Monitoring of Classroom Technology at UNT Maurice Leatherbury Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing Copyright.

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Presentation on theme: "Cost-Effective Monitoring of Classroom Technology at UNT Maurice Leatherbury Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing Copyright."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cost-Effective Monitoring of Classroom Technology at UNT Maurice Leatherbury Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing Copyright Maurice Leatherbury This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

2 UNT Background 31,000+ students 73 buildings that are over 5,000 sq ft 332 classrooms, 185 of which are “general-purpose” Heavily involved in distance learning, but still primarily face-to-face (classroom) instruction

3 History of Classroom Support In 1996, a campus committee declared that “…UNT [has] a sad history of instructional equipment being inoperable due to a lack of maintenance.” Provost formed an “executive planning group” to solve the problem. Members were the Provost, Dean of Libraries, Assoc. VP for Distance Education, Dir. Of Academic Computing, and Provost’s budget officer Alternatives considered were to distribute the support to the colleges and schools and to centralize it

4 History (con’t) After much discussion, the decision was made in Spring 1997 to assign the problem to the Director of the Microcomputer Maintenance Shop Classroom Support Services (CSS) was formed in 1998, funded through an addition to the Technology Use Fee

5 Current Structure and Staffing of Classroom Support Director & Associate Director manage two areas: Microcomputer Maintenance Shop & Classroom Support Services CSS has eight full-time staff and about five FTE student technicians Staff cover a range of hours from 7 a.m. to midnight, weekdays

6 Problems to Be Solved 8 large classrooms with overly-complicated, unreliable equipment. (Some of the rooms could even “talk” to the instructor, but then again the lights might go off in the middle of class!) Lack of equipment security (e.g. TV’s “chained” to chalkboard trays, wheels removed from OHP carts, etc.) Over 180 classrooms with no equipment unless delivered on daily basis Outdated equipment; hodge-podge of models

7 Evolution of the Solution Adapted the internal work order system from Microcomputer Maintenance to work in CSS “Barcoded” all inventory and entered this information into the work order system Partnered with key academic departments, loaned “roamer carts” (with data projector, VCR, DVD player and OHP) as a stop-gap measure Adopted standard model for data projector, VCRs, OHP, etc.

8 Evolution of the Solution (cont.) Standardized large classroom (AMX) systems Developed a simple standard equipment rack and connector plate Continued delivery of equipment to classrooms only until standard equipment could be installed

9 NEC GT 1150

10 Evolution of the Solution (cont.) Standard classroom equipment configuration: Data projector Computer with DVD player VCR Rack, including connectors for auxiliary video and computer sources Installed standard equipment in 185 classrooms (project took about 4 years, accomplished by CSS staff and students) Rolling technology refresh completed in 2003

11 Evolution of the Solution (cont.) Software refreshed every night (Ghost) when network is not busy Developed virtual data projector remote program for the classroom computer Allows instructor to control data projector Sends statistics from computer and data projector to central database Allows technician to retrieve computer and data projector maintenance information Standardized in each classroom

12 CSS Remote

13 Evolution of the Solution (cont.) Developed CSS Classroom Monitor, a centralized tool to monitor all general purpose classrooms on campus Incorporated classroom scheduling data downloaded from the mainframe to show when classrooms should be in use (and when they shouldn’t) Deployed Classroom Monitor to UNT Police department’s dispatch console: alarm sounds when critical incident occurs

14 CSS Classroom Monitor

15 Data projector conditions monitored: Data Projector model Power (on or off) Lamp hours used Temperature Error states (cover open, etc.)

16 CSS Classroom Monitor Classroom computer conditions monitored: Programs running Date/version of last hard drive image Network information Screen saver on or off Time elapsed since last reboot Change of disk space in use

17 CSS Classroom Monitor Alert conditions (“Severe Problem”): Computer stops sending statistics Computer stops answering network ping Data projector lamp within 50 hours of lamp life Data projector not responding to computer

18 CSS Classroom Monitor Additional Security Benefits: Classrooms “in maintenance” indicate to management and police where problems exist and technicians are working Classroom “busy without class” indicates possible trespasser – box changes to orange as soon as mouse is moved in classroom Multiple classrooms with “severe problem” usually indicates electrical or network failure

19 Conclusion Expensive classroom equipment can be efficiently and effectively monitored Faculty classroom instructional needs can be met through ubiquitous, standardized, well- supported classroom technology Key to success is money (student fees,) high- level university commitment, and an outstanding staff! Contact: Jim Curry –


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