On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Southern Methodist University (SMU) hosted an all-day round table discussion for AV/IT directors from area universities to share insights with their peers on solutions and tips to help their connected campuses run more efficiently. Among the topics covered were centralized technologies, remote monitoring, technology challenges, measuring ROI and plenty of pain points.
One of the first things that became apparent during the discussion was that each university AV/IT budget and department is set up differently. According to Joe Jackson, an AV/IT manager at SMU, “There are seven different colleges on the campus so there are seven different ways of thinking about technology” and each one is a client, he says. With 70 buildings on campus, there are only nine buildings that Jackson’s group does not handle.
Each of Jackson’s clients receives the same level of care. Instructor training is important.
“We have a help start training and will show professors how to use the technology,” Jackson says. They call this Help Start. This is to help ensure that instructors are comfortable with the technology when they start using it because it has become clear that if a new technology doesn’t work the first time it is useless.
“Once you have lost a professor, you’ve lost them,” Jackson says.
Casey Foulds, Instructional Support Services for Texas Woman’s University (TWU) liked the idea of naming an instructional program Help Start. Foulds runs a training program of her own