Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Large-Screen Projectors Help Rural University Deliver Courseware

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Large-Screen Projectors Help Rural University Deliver Courseware

Article excerpt

To most observers, Washington State University is better known for its agricultural research than its high-tech classrooms. But that may not be the case much longer.

Since June of 1994, the university, located in the rural town of Pullman, has made a concerted effort to equip both faculty and students with the latest video projection equipment.

Currently, WSU boasts just under 30 large-screen CRT projectors, all of which are suspended from wall or ceiling mounts in classrooms, according to Joe Watson, assistant director for Instructional Support Services in Information Technology.

Watson says the projectors are used for direct instructional support, including the ability to display video, computer and multimedia applications.

In the future, the university plans to link the projectors and other presentation devices with a campus-wide video network. Instructors could then distribute both analog and digital educational information to all classrooms from a central location.

The need to equip classrooms with projectors became evident when university officials took a look at how many videos and films were being shown each year - about 6,000 total.

* An Intelligent System

"We needed to standardize the university on an intelligent device so the central video network could communicate with the individual devices," Watson recalls.

The push toward standardization was also prompted by the fact that WSU is a rural campus with classrooms spread across 35 buildings. Before acquiring the new projectors, teachers had to request the appropriate equipment, which would then be rolled out on carts by one of 60 student employees - weather permitting.

Permanently installing the units in the classrooms had added benefits for faculty. Aside from having equipment at their fingertips, instructors no longer had to learn how to use several different brands of projectors.

* Faculty Hold "Shoot Off"

To ensure they were purchasing top-of-the-line equipment, the university held a "shoot off." Projectors from several major companies were assembled side by side in a large classroom, allowing faculty members to compare image quality and other features. …

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