It's an adventure in education when classmates in your course are located hundreds of miles away yet can be seen and heard by you and you by them. Likewise your instructor may be ten feet away from you or across the state and can see and hear everything you have to say! This equal access to instruction and sharing of resources is made possible through fiber optic phone lines and compressed video technology. Along with the educational opportunities this technology affords come additional responsibilities for students and instructors.
When you enter rooms 102 or 104 in the Wing Technology Center you'll notice the equipment that makes distance education possible. The seating is arranged so you can see the large video projection screen. You will also notice the video cameras. The camera in the front of the room is used to show the UW-L students to the distant sites. The camera at the rear of the room is used to show the instructor. There is also a high resolution document camera to show visuals being presented by the instructor. A computer with internet connection is also available and can be displayed on the video projection screen. Videotapes and DVDs can be played through a machine built into the front console.
The large video screen in the front of the room can show whatever the instructor wants it to. When instruction originates from our room, the instructor wears a wireless microphone. On the desktop you'll notice a microphone for every two chairs. It is the students' responsibility to speak strongly and clearly so their voices will be heard at the other site(s). It's important to remember to speak toward the nearest microphone. It's equally important to remember not to rustle papers, tap the desk or create any other extraneous noise which will interfere with the audio pickup.
All UW-L interactive television classrooms feature a touch screen control panel for use in changing the image seen by the students. This is called the AMX control panel. A video tape, DVD, document camera for visuals, student camera or instructor camera and a computer screen can be displayed to all sites. The instructor also can control the cameras and pan and zoom the cameras to see all of the students.
UW-L Classroom Technology and Distance Learning Services is ready to help with any special need or answer any question you may have about distance education in general and our technology classrooms in particular. Our aim is to facilitate the technology and increase the effectiveness of the instruction. We value feedback from students and instructors and encourage your comments. We truly view distance education at UW-L as an adventure in education and will do whatever it takes to make your class a rewarding and enjoyable experience.