University of Bath: Audio Visual Unit

News and developments in AV

Topic: Technology

Technology Demonstration - Digital Signage

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📥  Equipment, Systems, Technology

On Monday 6 March 3:00-4:30pm, in 6W1.1, the company that provide our digital signage platform, OneLan, are coming to campus to demonstrate their other solutions that can run on our server.

These are:

RESERVA - a room booking system based on screens at the door of the rooms.

wayfinding - using the system to give directions and navigate through the campus.

Please come along if you would like to find out about them!

 

Helping Innovative Teaching

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📥  Interesting, News, Systems, Technology

In the last semester, we've had a great session held in the TV Studio:

flipped-policy-makers

http://www.bath.ac.uk/health/news/news_0147.html

We've helped to stage a mock media interviews, to give students the feeling of being quizzed on topics.

The session was run by Dr Jess Francombe-Webb in the Department for Health, and Research Marketing Manager, Andy Dunne.

This led to a Radio 4-style interview, conducted in the University’s TV studio, where students were given the opportunity to expand on the policy proposal and dodge difficult questions.
The interview was played at the start of their launch event to set the scene.

You can listen to the programme here

 

SCHOMS Conference - Day 2

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📥  Equipment, Live Event, Technology

After completing a very satisfying Day 1, the conference moved into the Exhibition and Systems Day of the conference.

Outside of BETT, the conference manufacturer and supplier exhibition was the largest in HE this year - which is some achievement. Indeed, it's given us food for thought for future events.

The first presentation of the day came from Professor Nigel John at the University of Chester, and focussed on the provision of a virtual training environment for medical procedures. This was a fascinating run through how well things have developed in 20 years. Even down to the newest form of student app for training on specific procedures. The assessment seems to show that it is of benefit to the students.
Some of Nigel's work is here:
http://medical-graphics.org/

After this first session, the Exhibition proper started:

exhibition1

If you'd like a rather good review of events - Lis from St. Mary's University has done it....
https://thepostmoderntechslacker.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/schoms-exhibition-at-the-university-of-bath/

There were two parallel sessions later in the morning, just before lunch

  1. Marc Poffley from Crestron presenting EDID - http://www.crestron.com/downloads/pdf/product_misc/4k_whitepaper.pdf
  2. Sarah Davies from JISC presenting Digital Capabilities.

We attended the session by Sarah.

It covered the production of a new service, and the process of working with stakeholders and sector bodies, to provide clear guidance over what digital skills are required - and equip leaders and staff with the tools and resources they need to improve digital capability at a local or institutional level.

It looks like a very robust way to approach developing skills.

six-elements-wide

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/building-digital-capability

In the afternoon, there were two other parallel sessions:

  1. Matthew Green and Jonathan Rhodes from University of Wolverhampton presenting Teaching Science.
  2. Rob Hyde and Sarah Turpin from University of Bath presenting the LITEbox project.

Obviously I was presenting the second session!

litebox

We covered the whole LITEbox development, and collected feedback from the audience about how other universities conduct this process. It's being used going forward to inform the direction of our project!

The final session of the day was a duble-header; the SCHOMS bursary scheme, and the Benchmarking Exercise.

The SCHOMS bursary scheme is designed to assist members to take a project on that will be of benefit to the community. This year's beneficiary was Caroline Pepper at Loughborough who used the funding to conduct a benchmarking with several other universities - including us at Bath, to examine the running of AV services.

The results have provided an interesting insight into the operation and differences across the sector.

More information is here: http://www.schoms.ac.uk/aim-to-build-on-schoms-bursary-impact/

After a final visit to the Exhibition, we then broke for the SCHOMS Conference Dinner, which this year was held in the Pump House at the Roman Baths:

Photo courtesy of Adrian Brett

Photo courtesy of Adrian Brett

dinner

I think we can agree.... It was a brilliant evening, and will be quite hard to follow!

 

SCHOMS Conference - Preliminary and Day 1

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📥  Technology

This week we were the host venue for the annual SCHOMS conference.

SCHOMS is the professional association for the support services for education technology. The annual conference provides an opportunity for those rare and likeminded Heads and senior staff to meet and discuss any and everything related to providing technology in support of teaching.

The events this year started with an evening social gathering on the Monday night for those travelling from some distance. It allowed for introductions and buddying up of the new with the old members. We were lucky to have several new members attend, including from the Universities of Malta and from Western Australia. The evening coincided with the England - Iceland football international; which unfortunately for some led to a more sombre evening!

It was a delight to welcome everyone to the University in Bath.

The conference proper started on the Tuesday morning, with a welcome from the current Chair, Paul Wood, from the University of Bangor in North Wales.

The opening address was given by the University of Bath's Vice Principal, Steve Egan. It held an empassioned thought on the processes in the recent Brexit vote, and the effects it may have for Universities, and a guided tour through what the University of Bath is, and the different way that we operate - our uniqueness. It was a great opening to conference.

schoms_start

It was great to see that our LITEbox project got a great mention and support.
All told there were 67 delegates from all across the UK, and guests from across the globe.

The next session held the audience attention well - Shane Cryer from Ecophon presented a session on the slightly dry topic of room acoustics.
The session included a sort of 'hearing test' for the delegates to see if they could hear specific frequency tones. Sufficed to say that not everyone in the audience could! However, there were some more startling effects to be measured through some recent research:

ecophon_openplan

There were some stark advice that I could take from the sessions:

BB93 (Building Bulletin - from the Dept for Education) suggests that the target reverberation rating should be a maximum of 0.8. Where there are students with qualifications under Equality Act, then we should aim for under 0.4.
In practice, it would seem that most teaching rooms really will struggle to comply with these measurements. The good news is that we already have options to measure this effect in rooms - and we will go through a process this year of measuring the performance of our rooms.

The next session of the morning was the formal launch of the SCHOMS / UCISA / AUDE joint report entitled 'Learning Space Toolkit'. Many of us in the sector have had some input into this report. It will give the reader a good start on how to look at their learning spaces, and then start to manage them going into the future.
It's by no means the right way to do it, and it will not suit some, but it is a good foundation to work with.

After the business of the AGM, the day moved on to quick look at some facilities on campus.

Through the course of the tour, we were treated to a guided look at the facilities by members of the AV Unit. In University Hall, there was also a live demostration of a great product developed by Robin Sheilds, from the School of Management, called 2sli.de.
It allows the presenter to:

  • Interact with the audience through polls and discussion questions
  • Enables the user to annotate slides and move objects on the slide using a smartphone or tablet whilst the user is presenting

It can be considered as a presenter's way of trying to do presentations, but improving the interactivity as the session develops....More information is available here:
http://2sli.de/blog/demo

We would encourage everyone to look at the great solution - it's free!

After lunch, the afternoon session was provided by us at Bath.

It started off with Amanda Wylie - Staff Development Manager at the University - with a session about understanding how the support staff will relate to the users of the service.

We did this by looking at the 4 colour energies of personalities, and how you can use them to keep someone's attention. It was a very useful session! It's surprising how many people you can fit into these categories.

Colour Energies

As part of this session, some of the delegates were asked to make the shape of a rabbit whilst blindfolded and under time pressure. The results were 'interesting'.

rabbit

However it was a thought-provoking session about how you deal with personal situations.

The final session of the day was provided by Dr. John Troyer, from the University's Faculty of Health.
For a group of people, John has an interesting look on 'What is Technology?'.Given a background in University support services himself, the ideas are slightly left-field. It was a timely remider that technology may become ubiquitous and we might not think about them as technology any more. Devices such as pens, compound lenses in glasses and even books - not just even electronic ones.

However, the finest thought for us to really consider is not the use of technology, but the lifespan of technology. How we plan for the lifespan of a piece of technology, from selection to eventual obsolescence is more important than anything else. Does the statement of 'forever' really mean forever for data, or the use of files, or the lifespan of the physical equipment? This could lead to the perpetuation of fads in education - whereas we might like to think about the systemic entirety rather than popularity of use.

 

 

Victorian thoughts of technology

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📥  History, Interesting, Technology

We've been looking through an old set of pictures of what the Victorian age commentators thought technology would be like in the 2000s.

It's certainly fascinating to see them!

How schools might function:

School

Using helicopters to scout:

Helicopter Scouts

Getting around in taxis in the air:

Aero Cabs

Remote theatre shows:

Remote theatre shows

It's fascinating to see that the theatre option has already happened.... but we're waiting for the others!

 

 

New technology

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📥  Equipment, News, Technology

Today we took delivery of a Yamaha YVC-1000 Conference device.

This can be plugged into any computer to facilitate audio conferencing (with SKYPE for example) - to give a better coverage of audio.

You can also pair the device with your smartphone via bluetooth, so you can hold a conference call to a bigger audience.

Our kit has the Base Station (with the speakers) - and 3 microphones.

Please let us know if you would like to use it! It's available for you to have us come and set it up for you as a loan (on-site).

a.v.bookings@bath.ac.uk

 

Conference Season - new products

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📥  Equipment, Spaces, Technology

The early part of the year brings several conferences and shows for teaching technology.

Recently there has been BETT (teaching technology - January) and ISE (integrated systems - February). BVE (broadcast video) is next week.

We'll highlight some of the interesting products and solutions we've seen over the next few weeks.

Firstly!

Magic Whiteboard

This product featured recently on Dragon's Den - and is a really neat solution for multi use writing surfaces if you're in a space without them. You need nothing more than a reasonable flat wall to use.

We have a sample of this in AV if anyone would like to try it out.

Here's how it works:

We can get this product through our usual suppliers.

For more details - http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/

 

Upgrades - University Hall

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📥  Equipment, News, Spaces, Systems, Technology

We've been working hard over the last couple of weeks to update some of the technology in University Hall

 

We are piloting an installation of Apple, Android and Windows display sharing. We've fitted an Apple TV and a Miracast dongle into the lectern.

You'll now find two extra buttons on the control panel.

UniHall_newcontrolint

Apple TV:

To do this you need to use peer-to-peer AirPlay. You will need to stand in the vicinity of the PC, and have bluetooth switch on on your device.

The device is called: University Hall Apple TV

With peer-to-peer AirPlay, your iOS device and Apple TV don't have to be on the same Wi-Fi network. To use peer-to-peer AirPlay, you need one of these devices with iOS 8 or later:

·                      iPhone 5 or later

·                      iPad mini or iPad (4th generation or later)

·                      iPod touch (5th generation or later)

For more information please look at the Apple support site- https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204289

 

Miracast:

To do this you need to use bluetooth. You will need to stand in the vicinity of the PC, and have bluetooth or a widi compliant device.

The device is called: University Hall Miracast

You can check if your device can do this here:
https://www.wi-fi.org/product-finder-results?sort_by=default&sort_order=desc&capabilities=2,3&certifications=45

Essentially, your device will need to be relatively new.

Android: o/s 4.2 Jellybean or newer.

Windows: Windows 8.1 or newer.

For more information on how to do this: http://www.howtogeek.com/200897/how-to-use-miracast-screen-mirroring-from-windows-or-android/

 

If you would like to try this out, please do - but we would like your feedback! AV@bath.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

Room Update - 8W 1.28

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📥  Equipment, Furniture, News, Technology

We've been busy over the last week or two putting in some updates in some of the classrooms.

In 8W1.28, we've upgraded each of the individual workstations to have a micro PC on each one.

27800 New Room 8W1_28. Shots showing new facility in use for workshops and group discussions.  Client: Sarah Turpin - LTEO

8W1.28 - 6 workstations & Tutor station

Each controller now has a 'PC' selection button, which will change the display to the built-in PC.

We are working on the Tutor station over the next couple of weeks, to enable a collaboration box, so that the box content can be shared in the rooms to and from each workstation.

Please contact us if you'd like to know more.

a.v.bookings@bath.ac.uk