The Office of Technology Services (OTS) and its campus partners are continually exploring technologies that can be used in the classroom to support learning and teaching. Our approach is to identify faculty and student needs, and conduct small-scale pilots and select solutions that fit well into the campus infrastructure. Many factors need to be considered including:
The Office of Technology Services (OTS) currently supports several different wireless technologies. The instructor workstations are built to work with many types of mobile devices.
The Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) field is rapidly gaining ground worldwide, and is now available at Towson University. OTS has a 360-degree camera available for loan to faculty and staff for short periods of time. Experiment and explore with the camera as a proof-of-concept. Check out the VR samples created using our camera (must use Google Chrome or a mobile device to view).
Capture content using our 360-degree camera and watch it on YouTube or using a special app. When played on YouTube or an app on a smartphone or tablet with motion sensors (most have them), the view will change as you move your device, providing a full 360-degree view of the still image or video. The key to Virtual Reality is generating the scenery. Using the 360-degree camera enables generation of realistic VR content.
The Oculus Rift is a VR headset that connects to a PC and provides an immersive 3D experience. It's touch controllers mimic the feeling of natural hand gestures in the virtual environments. There is a large library of free and paid content available for the Rift.
OTS has an exciting new zSpace VR computer available for demonstrations or short-term loans. zSpace allows 3D objects to be manipulated in real time, either as a stand alone small-group device or projected in a large classroom environment. The preloaded software features a variety of content ranging from heart dissection to automotive engineering to geometry with even more disciplines coming soon.
For information on any of the equipment listed or to request a loan, contact Brian Raley at braley AT_TOWSON.
Panopto is a software-based solution that can be used for:
This solution was chosen after a six month pilot conducted by the Office of Academic Innovation (OAI) and the Office of Technology Services (OTS) to identify needs for instructional recording. Several classrooms are equipped to handle Panopto recording. Check with your department or search Virtual Tour of Campus Technology Equipped Classrooms.
The Office of Technology Services (OTS) currently supports several different videoconferencing systems on campus. Before purchasing any videoconferencing solutions please consult with OTS first by contacting your CCLT coordinator. Skype for Business (Microsoft Lync) and Webex are already available on campus.
With this technology, you can annotate and mark up presentations using "digital ink." Instructors can export their documents with the markups for distribution. Using a touchscreen can greatly enhance the learning experience. These will be included as a standard for new and renovated classrooms and upon departmental request for existing classrooms.
These interactive big-screen displays can serve as the main or secondary display in the classroom. In some spaces, they have a dedicated computer and can be used indepent of the instructor workstation in the classroom. Interactive displays are very useful as a collaborative screen for small student groups. Funding may be available through the Student Technology Fee Program.