The Rooms for Increasing Student Engagement (RISE) effort has provided a jumping-off point to improve classroom technology and enhance learning. As a result of the success of this effort, along with the continued space constraints on campus and demand for flexible working and learning environments, ITS has invested in the next edition of RISE with the purchase of a unique service agreement with Zoom.
Under this new agreement ITS will modernize additional spaces on campus with new videoconferencing and collaboration technology. The initiative is called RISE: Generation Zoom.
In fact, ITS has already updated more than 25 spaces on campus as part of a pilot program. The locations include rooms within the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, the Tomás Rivera Library, Costo Hall, Skye Hall, Watkins Hall, the Student Services Building, and the University Office Building.
Converting a space into a “Zoom Room” requires replacing or upgrading existing technology to enable wireless content sharing and people tracking, two features that make video conferencing more convenient and natural.
With wireless content sharing, anyone can wirelessly connect their device to display screens to launch a Zoom meeting and share their screen. Cameras strategically placed around the room enable the people tracking feature, which has the ability to follow movements and focus on them.
One of the most recently-upgraded rooms is Hinderaker B154, a conference room often utilized by campus leaders, including the Chancellor, Provost, and the Administrative Services and Strategic Executive Team (ASSET).
Previously, the room had no functioning technology, except for a conference phone. It was not equipped with the right tools for hybrid meetings and the display screens were not user-friendly. Additionally, the furniture, lighting, and layout of Hinderaker B154 were not optimized despite the fact that this spacious room is heavily used for high-profile meetings.
Now, Hinderaker B154 is fully renovated and equipped with modern Zoom Room technology. Five televisions are strategically positioned around the room so meeting participants have a clear, comprehensive view no matter where they sit, even if they’re joining the meeting remotely. The four cameras and ceiling microphones ensure that everyone is visible and audible to remote participants.
The Hinderaker B154 Zoom Room project—a collaboration between ITS and Facilities Services—also took into consideration the need to future-proof the room to accommodate new functionality down the road, such as people tracking and Intelligent Director.
Another conference space that has been updated is a boardroom in the UCR Palm Desert Center, which was included in the RISE: Generation Zoom pilot effort at the request of pilot partner and CHASS Dean Daryle Williams.
Previously, the room had a temporary installation that allowed hybrid meetings. This included a bar-style webcam, wall-mounted speakers, a projector, screen, and a laptop on a cart. After the renovations, the boardroom now has two large wall-mounted TVs that allow both people and content to be clearly visible to meeting participants. The cameras, speakers, and microphones are built into the bar below the TV for easy access.
ITS will continue to transform spaces on campus as part of the RISE: Generation Zoom effort. To learn more, visit the ITS Digital Transformation webpage. If you would like to request a Zoom Room demo or an upgrade for a classroom or conference room, reach out to the ITS Multimedia & Classroom Technology team via email at email@example.com.