On the Horizon: Substantial Classroom Technology Improvements

Summer 2024 Classroom Technology Improvements Teaser Trailer

Coming Soon: First Look Experience

The Classroom Technology team is planning a First Look Experience in late May/early June once the first classroom is outfitted with the new technology in May so that you can get better acquainted with the new experience. Look out for communications regarding the specific timing in the May 2024 Instructional Community Newsletter.

April 18, 2024

Beginning in May of 2024, RTL will update our classrooms with microphones built into the ceiling, wireless display, interactive whiteboards with annotation features and easy remote connections over Zoom without the need to bring in your own device.  It will take about seven years for all 200+ classrooms to be upgraded. Instructors will be able to project without the fuss of cables and teach without having to put on a microphone.

The goal is to create memorable and meaningful experiences for our students while providing opportunities to enhance teaching and learning.  Our next generation of classrooms are being transformed from rooms with four walls to rooms with three walls and a window to the world.  With the touch of a button, students can be transported to places beyond the campus and bring in other people from far off lands.  Courses can be co-taught with other Universities throughout California and the world.

Using interactive video to bridge distances can invoke emotions and expand people's experiences. While we tend to use the terms “remote” and “virtual”, these connections can be anything but. As an example, a Peace and Conflict Studies class was co-taught with a university in Germany. The instructors had the students simultaneously sing “Imagine” by John Lennon. Given the history between our countries, this song of peace had tears rolling down the faces of students in both locations.

The distance can be extreme. One far-out example took place during a connection with the International Space Station. A student was in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. Her father was in space. She sang “Matchmaker” while he danced in zero-gravity. It was a mind blowing, once in a lifetime experience for everyone in the room.

One class took a field trip to The Museum of Tolerance from their classroom. They received a tour of the exhibits and had a moving conversation with a survivor of the Holocaust. There are countless examples of these types of activities which go beyond the connotation of the terms remote and virtual. They are real and people can feel very present and connected.