OK, we all know that teaching the teachers how to use classroom technologies is not the easiest task. Most are too busy, some are set in their ways, and some fear they’ll look stupid if the technology fails during a class. And if it doesn’t work the first time for those who do embrace change—you’ve lost them.
There’s nothing like putting technology to the test in front of VIPs. Gulp. During the grand opening event at the Allsopp Learning Lab, located in the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), on September 7, 2017, “There was a faculty member who jumped right in and actually gave a demo of the system in front of our university’s president and other media, and she did well,” says Melissa Hildebrandt, PMP, project manager, Enterprise Project Management Office, Strategic Program Office of the U of S. “I think that speaks volumes to how the system can be learned and used quite easily and relatively quickly with a savvy and interested instructor or user.”
Choosing an easy-to-use technology solution for its active learning classrooms was critical for Hildebrandt and Kyle Berezowski, CTS, consultant, Equipment Services, ICT Client Services of the U of S. “We looked into Sony Vision Exchange as well as a few other manufacturers with active learning solutions.” Vision Exchange met U of S client needs and the team’s criteria. “The Sony solution is very intuitive, very simple and straightforward.” This was a key differentiator when it came to choosing Sony Vision Exchange, Berezowski says. “You start swiping, and very quickly a user of any skill level can get start teaching in an active manner.”
There was little time for formal training between the time the system was installed and the date classes began in the fall. “Sony was on-site just before classes began in the space, and provided training to faculty who were available, and to some embedded IT support staff,” Hildebrandt explains. “But the reality is that this product is very easy to understand once it’s there and installed and ready to use.”
Since classes began, Hildebrandt notes, conversations with faculty and the associate dean have been positive. “The students are really excited about it,” she says. “They seem to take naturally to it and it elevates their educational experience to have such a fantastic learning experience.”
Learn more from Hildebrandt and Berezowski about their mission to integrate an intuitive, easy-to-use active learning classroom technology solution at the U of S, how they trained staff, and see photos. Plus, hear first-hand accounts about the solution the University of Manitoba installed, and how it’s using its new ALC technology solutions, here.