The eLearning team hosted its first Pop Up Lab in the Aldrich Library in August. Part of the library is closed for refurbishment. Students have told us that they need more space in the library and the work being undertaken over the summer will provide more space to study.
Around 40 people from across the Moulsecoomb campus visited the pop up lab to see what was on offer. We decided to display all the technology around which we thought could improve teaching and learning. Here’s a brief description of what was on offer.
We had four Apple TVs in use, and a spare, around the room. I’m not suggesting you need four apple TVs but we wanted to demonstrate a few different things.
Apple TV allows you to mirror the content on your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, laptop or desktop) to a larger screen such as a widescreen TV or via a projector.
Swivl tracks a lecturer as they move around the room and records video, audio and any slides created within the Swivl tool. This proved a popular tool. I think this tool falls into that category of things that does one-thing-quite-well.
Belkin Tablet Stage works as a great portable visualiser. You are able to annotate audio and video. This consists of a rigid retort stand and Apple IOS app which when combined with an AppleTV for sharing can be very effective.
Reflector – more mirroring
Reflector (version 2) is a software based tool for sharing your mobile devices to a large screen. We have looked at this tool before and I often use it as a back-up when Apple TV will not work with a projector. Reflector appears to have updated recently and now support android devices and runs on Windows based computers as well as Apple Macs. This looks promising for seminar rooms. The main issue with reflector is the need for everything to be on the same (wifi) network. We are talking to our core services team and asking about the possibility of making seminar room computers appear to be on the same wifi network (eduroam) as most devices will be on. In the image below we used my computer connected to the large screen TV to mirror several devices to the screen.
The Seminar Room Lectern
The newly installed lectern includes a dual-boot apple computer (Windows and OSX available). This lectern is height adjustable and allows various devices, via HDMI and VGA, to be viewed on two large screen televisions.
Here the height needs adjusting as it is difficult to see who is behind the computer monitor.
The Height can be adjusted using a switch below the main desk area.
The lectern can be used to control two large monitors which can be configured to show the same inputs (e.g. the computer desktop) or an additional input such as an AppleTV mirroring the Belkin Tablet Stage. It would be possible to display slides on what screen while demonstrating something on the other screen related to the slides.
Glass Whiteboards – Magnetic too
Newly installed whiteboards are available in the room and are a great way to encourage interaction and collaboration. These boards allow groups to work in separate parts of the room; potentially feeding-back to the rest of the room.
iPads, Tripods and Snowballs
We demonstrated the use of iPads for sharing and recording information. There was a snowball device on show too which is capable of recording audio in rooms where the ambient sound can be a problem -such as in a lecture theatre.