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Laurier improving campus videoconferencing technology
Changes to double the capacity and improve the ease of use of Laurier’s videoconferencing technology are currently underway. The improvements will help enhance Laurier’s collaborative environment, both academically and administratively.
“Technological connections are key to Laurier’s success as a multi-campus institution,” said Deb MacLatchy, Laurier’s vice-president: academic and provost. “These changes will better connect our campuses to each other and to the outside world, and make it easier for us to undertake distributed teaching and learning, administrative and governance activities.”
For administrative meetings, improved videoconferencing increases efficiency as people can attend meetings at their “home” campuses, reducing travel time. It is also essential for people with mobility challenges and is better for the environment. Academically, improved videoconferencing optimizes and maximizes opportunities for students to be exposed to professors and other students who are limited by travel barriers.
Currently, Laurier has 12 videoconferencing units that cover about 300 seats. To improve capacity, one of the 12 units will be moved from a 10-seat room in the Peters Building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus and turned into a portable unit for the Paul Martin Centre and the Senate and Board Chamber. Another unit will be moved from a 40-seat classroom in Peters to a 200-seat classroom, room BA102, in the Bricker Academic Building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
Laurier has also acquired about 50 licenses to use Cisco’s Jabber technology, which allows users to remotely connect to a videoconference using a laptop or tablet. The in-house technology will allow for better control as well as improve the quality and reliability of the connection.
The changes will be completed by mid-August, in time for the fall 2013 semester.