A bearded Jerry Garcia look-alike wearing a pith helmet and riding
a green beach bicycle is not necessarily what people expect to see
on Emorys campus. Is it some kind of retro time warp? Far
from it. It is Steve Lamb of Information Technology Divisions
Classroom Technologies (formerly Media Services) on a mission to
deliver vital audiovisual technical assistance to distant classrooms.
Lamb is one of four media analyststhe others being Bruce
Dille, Aaron Cooper and Steve Wittewho make sure presentation
equipment is available and operational each semester for more than
90 Emory College classrooms.
Keeping ahead of the AV curve is Classroom Technologies business,
and this semester being an on-the-move service means more than just
keeping pace with developing and emerging technologies. Its
geographic as well.
Gone are the funky offices in Candler Librarys basement;
the office has been relocated as renovation of the building goes
into full swing. On Jan. 8, the service moved to spacious new facilities
in Cox Hall 203.
Media Services was born in Candler Librarythe first
AV cart rolled out of a closet there over 30 years ago, said
ITD business analyst Barbara Brandt, who rounds out the Classroom
Technologies professional team.
Storage rooms being cleared in Candler bear witness to those bygone
days when hauling heavy carts in vans and setting up 16 mm film
projectors and phonographs with 33 rpm records was the only way
to provide video and audio services to classrooms. Some of this
classic equipment has been dusted off and put on display in the
Marian Heilbrun Music and Media Library as a reminder of how far
the technology has advanced in the last three decades.
There is so much equipment that has become obsolete, and
with the increased dependence on web and network-based computer
technologies in classrooms, the skills that AV techs needed 20 years
ago arent the same skills used today, Brandt said.
Even with the amazing advances in technology, there are still challenges.
Emory College has more than two dozen smart classrooms
(wired for interactive media), but most rooms have varying levels
of permanent AV equipment.
Classroom Technologies staff work with faculty to determine what
is already available in a classroom, bring in a portable solution
if the room doesnt already have what faculty need, and give
them a first-time run-through on how to use the technology.
We have equipment stored in almost every class building on
campus, Brandt said, but we only have 15 minutes between
class breaks to get it into classrooms, get it connected and up
and running for the instructor before class starts.
Were always looking for ways to make it easier for
faculty and students to use the equipmentwhich doesnt
mean were behind the scenes with our feet up on a desk. It
means it gives us extra time for planning, testing new equipment
and bringing in new technology, she added.
Almost 30 percent of their time is spent working closely with Emory
College, Facilities Management, faculty and outside AV engineers
as technical consultants on the design and development of media-rich
Classroom Technologies helps faculty bring new types of content
into their courses, said Alan Cattier, director of Academic
Technologies for ITD. Whether youre talking about a
Blackboard class, web material, DVDs or streamed video, they make
sure media delivery goes as seamlessly as possible for faculty who
want to be concerned whether their class grasps a concept, not whether
the technology will work.
They also maintain an equipment loan service, which provides digital
video cameras, camcorders, data and slide projectors, and other
AV equipment to faculty, students and staff. To learn more about
Classroom Technologies services or to schedule equipment,
or call 404-727-6853.