UF classes get tech upgrades

Three new projector screens, each 20 feet wide, hang in Carleton Auditorium as part of UFIT's major renovation project for the summer. Additional work included water damage repairs, improved lighting and stage ability, as well as the installation of a new audio system and high definition projectors.

When Kemia Harris first entered Carleton Auditorium for her precalculus algebra class freshman year, she saw more than just a crowd of students trying to learn in unison.

“I loved the painting of Albert and Alberta on the wall and how spacious the room was,” said the 21-year-old telecommunications senior.

That painting is now covered with three 20-foot-wide projection screens to display content from wide-screen, high-definition projectors.

Students this Fall will notice digital renovations to the Carleton Auditorium, two Turlington Hall lecture classrooms and Griffin-Floyd Hall’s room 100. According to the UF Information Technology website, the goal was to upgrade teaching and learning spaces with technology like new audio systems and projection screens, videoconferencing equipment and high-quality lecture capture capabilities.

“I like the fact that they are using our world of digital technology and incorporating that into helping us learn,” Harris said. “It’s mixing the old with the new.”

UF Academic Technology classroom support supervisor Phi Nguyen said the renovations were part of an effort to help UF toward the top 10 ranking.

Nguyen said the renovations are happening over summer because the term has a smaller student population, making it easier to enter the classrooms.

“The four classrooms this summer is just a small fraction of the amount of classrooms we are working on this summer,” he said. “Thirty or even 40 classrooms have already been digitally changed.”

Nguyen said the classroom digital upgrades are part of a four-year plan to upgrade all 250 of UF’s general classrooms to digital high-definition capability.

Carleton Auditorium was UFIT’s largest renovation project for summer 2013, according to its website. Water damage repairs and improvements to lighting, stage accessibility and the audio system were completed before the start of Summer B.

Nguyen said the Carleton Audition was a special project because it was dated and dark.

“All new technology equipment and new digital processors,” Nguyen said. “We did a full rip-out and reinstall as far as technology.”

Nguyen did not disclose how much the renovation cost.

Other classroom technology projects this summer include the installation of improved lecture recording capabilities in two Turlington rooms, which will enable higher quality lecture footage, according to UFIT’s site.