Author Archives: Petar Mitrevski

Orientation session for new classroom technology

LIS is offering orientation sessions for the new audio/video technology that is scheduled to be installed in several Warner classrooms. We hope that these sessions will help make a smooth transition from the old technology to the new one. Anyone is welcome to attend and there is no need to sign up, you can just come to any of the sessions.

1. There will be two sessions on Wednesday, December 5th in Sunderland 123:
1:00pm – 1:30pm
1:30pm – 2:00pm
Note: The equipment installed in Sunderland 123 is identical to what will be installed in the Warner classrooms.

2. There will be two sessions on Friday, January 11th in Warner 202:
1:30pm – 2:00pm
2:00pm – 2:30pm

Please visit our previous blog post for more detail on the upgrades in Warner. If you cannot attend these sessions but would like an orientation (either before January or after), please contact the Helpdesk and we will schedule an appointment. If you have any questions about the workshops or the upgrades, please do not hesitate to contact me at x2833 or via email.

Smart classroom renovations in Warner this December & January

Lighting and audio/video renovations will take place between Dec 16 and Jan 6 in all Warner classrooms except the Hemicycle. LIS will offer orientation sessions prior to December in identical classrooms, as well as during the first week of J-term (orientation dates will be posted on the LIS blog, soon).

As part of the renovation, Facilities Services will upgrade the lighting systems in Warner 202, 203, 207, 208, 506 and 507. The new lighting system will use LED lights which are more energy efficient and longer lasting. This upgrade will begin after the end of exams, on Dec 16th. The lighting upgrade will be completed before J-term starts. As each room gets an upgraded lighting system, LIS will also upgrade the audio/video equipment. If there is a delay in any room, the upgrade will be rescheduled for the February recess and the existing lighting and A/V will remain in place and will be functional.

As part of these renovations:

  • The VHS players from the classrooms will be removed. Please see our Analog Sunset web page for more information on the future of VHS players.
  • A new Blu-ray/DVD combo player will be installed.
  • The option for connecting a laptop with a VGA cable will remain, and we will add an option for connecting a laptop digitally (via HDMI).
  • The podium computers will remain, as well.
  • The existing document cameras will remain and they can be moved from classroom to classroom as needed.
  • The existing screens will remain in place, so no chalkboard space will be lost.

Due to the extensive electrical work required for Warner Hemicycle, this space will not be part of the lighting or audio/video upgrade. We are working with Facilities Services to make this a project for 2013-2014.

Projection issues with Macs – Apple releases an update

If you are having trouble connecting your Mac to a TV or projector and you’ve tried everything to no avail, try a software update. Apple just released updates for OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion. To obtain these updates, run Apple Software Update.

Note that we also have a short document (go/projection) that shows how to connect a Mac or a PC to a projector and provides tips for resolving the most common issues.

Top Tech Tips for a Successful Event

Middlebury College hosts hundreds of events each year. A successful event is the result of careful and timely planning. To assist you with planning your event, LIS has outlined these tips for a successful event:

  • Plan ahead: For all events that require tech support, we ask that you give us at least 5 business days notice. This deadline ensures that we have enough time to coordinate support with other departments (that have similar deadlines) and ensures that we can support more events and produce higher quality events.
  • Give the Master Location Schedule a spin: This tool can help you get a list of spaces that have the features you need: visit go/mls, open the Locations tab, click More Search Options and under Features select the feature you are looking for (e.g. Computer installed at the podium). This can be very helpful in the early planning stages.
  • The right room for the job: Keep in mind that some spaces are better suited for specific purposes. The event location is especially important if:
    • you are planning a videoconference,
    • you would like to have the event recorded
    • you plan to use microphones

Not all spaces are well suited for the above purposes (due to acoustics, lighting, capacity, etc.) Thus, to ensure a successful event, LIS has selected specific locations (see list below) that are best designed for these types of events. The Scheduling Office will work with you and LIS to find the best location for your event.

  • Tech options: Consider whether you will need additional equipment or tech support (projector, microphones, show a DVD, record the event, etc.):

    • Many event venues already have the most popular equipment (projection, speakers, etc.), as well as an easy to use control panel and a set of printed instructions. With a brief orientation session, you’ll operate the equipment with ease. Contact the Helpdesk if you would like to schedule an orientation session.
    • If the location you are hoping to use does not have the equipment you need, LIS offers several options for getting equipment on loan.
    • If you’re sure you’ll need tech support, make sure to indicate that when filling out your event reservation request.
  • The Scheduling Office is your ally. Submit your reservation request to the scheduling office as soon as possible, keeping in mind that LIS and other service departments require a 5-7 day notice. If you do require equipment or tech support, please ensure you select the appropriate option on the form. If the correct option is selected, the Scheduling Office will notify the Helpdesk of your event in a timely manner and we will contact you if more information is needed. Again, it is imperative that you respond to our requests for information at least 5 business days in advance of the event.
  • Useful forms: To help you prepare for some types of events, and to ensure we get all the information necessary to give you our best service, we may ask you to complete a simple form. See the list of useful forms below.
  • Guest speakers: If you are bringing a guest speaker on-campus, send them our Technology Checklist for Visiting Speakers.
  • Use a podium computer or bring your own: A lot of classrooms have a built-in computer at the podium, reducing the need to bring your own computer. Again, the Master Location Schedule can help you get a list of these locations. If you prefer to use your own laptop for the presentation, make sure to test your computer and your presentation in the event location. Please feel free to contact the Helpdesk if you would like us to help out with the test!
  • PowerPoint Tips: Using PowerPoint to enhance a talk, Tips for including media – pictures, videos, audio (& ensuring it all works!)
  • Microphone Tips: Effective Microphone Techniques

Supported Locations

Due to acoustics, lighting, capacity and other factors, not all spaces are well suited for special events such as recordings, videoconferencing, etc. Thus, to ensure a successful event, LIS has selected specific locations that are best designed for these types of events. The Scheduling Office will work with you and LIS to find the best location for your event but you can plan ahead and review the potential venue options:

Every year we renovate selected spaces, so the options will continue to grow. You can always check the above links for the most up-to-date information.

Useful Forms

To help you prepare for some types of events, and to ensure we get all the information necessary to give you our best service, we’ve prepared a few forms:

  • For recordings:

    • You will need to have the speaker(s) fill out the recording consent form (go/consent). We need to receive this form 2 business days (48 hours) before the event or we will not be able to record. This is a legal document that ensures the speaker is aware of your intent and, at the same time, protects you and the College in the case of a lawsuit. For more information, visit go/consent.
    • Complete the recording request form (go/recording). We need to receive this form 5 business days before the event or we will not be able to record. This form collects information that we need to prepare for the recording, create a high quality recording that is accessible and reliable, and properly catalog the recording so that you or the College may reuse it in the future. For more information visit go/recording.
  • For film screenings:
    • Complete the screening request form (go/screening). We need to receive this form 5 business days before the event or we cannot guarantee that we can staff the screening. Screening any media requires sufficient time to purchase (or confirm) that we have the screening rights and that we have the working physical media. Even if you plan to bring your own media, screening rights need to be confirmed and the media itself needs to be tested. For more information, visit go/screening.

Note: We will continue to update this list, as our services and event venues change. Please check the page Top Tech Tips for a Successful Event for the latest version. In addition, visit the Media Services homepage for more information on our services.

New Smart Classrooms & Renovations – AXT 305, CHT 110, MBH 305 plus Carr 005 and LIB140

In June and July (and in time for the Language Schools!), LIS installed new audio/video projection systems in four classrooms that were lacking technology:

  • Twilight Hall 305 (AXT 305)
  • Chateau 110 (CHT 110)
  • McCardell Bicentennial Hall 305 (MBH 305)
  • Sunderland 123 (SDL 123)

Thanks to all the hard work from Facilities Services, Sherwin Electric and BTS, we were able to get the equipment installed and operational very quickly. The classrooms are HD-ready and provide both analog and digital computer connections, as well as Blu-ray and DVD/VHS players.

The technology in all the classrooms is virtually the same, with AXT 305 being slightly different. The AXT 305 classroom features a 60″ energy efficient LED TV instead of the more traditional drop-down projection screen. This is our first LED TV classroom, a pilot project to examine the feasibility of using TVs instead of projection screens in smaller classrooms. Using a TV instead of a drop down projection screen saves time and money, while providing a brighter display. Moreover, LED TVs use less electricity than projectors.

In addition to the new smart classrooms above, the technology system in Carr Hall 005 received an upgrade in July, as well. We completed this project in collaboration with UVM and thanks to the efforts of Bob Cluss.

Carr 005 is one of our videoconferencing spaces. It now features a new high definition videoconferencing unit and the ability to share a computer screen or other content during a videoconference. The space can also be used as a regular classroom – the equipment supports computer projection as well as DVD and VHS playback.

Last, but not least, Library 140 received a major renovation – it now has seating capacity for 36 people and features a dual projection system! The new audio/video system features two high definition projectors and provides full digital connectivity, as well as support for older analog formats.

Instructions for using the technology in these space are available here:

Here are some photos from a few of the classrooms (hover your mouse over each photo for a description):
Twilight 305
Sunderland 123
Davis Family Library 140

Outlook Calendar Best Practices (or How to Avoid Scheduling Mishaps with Outlook)

To help resolve issues with scheduling meetings using Outlook, LIS has created a document called Outlook Calendar Best Practices. The document is available on our Helpdesk Documentation website. Please contact the Helpdesk if you have any further questions.