AV/IT TEAM: Jesus Candiotti, Academic Multimedia engineer; Harry Ortiz, associate director of Academic Multimedia Services
GOALS: Located in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier private research university focused on preparing its 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students for an increasingly complex and technology-centric world. Ever at the forefront of technology, Stevens was already an established leader in online education prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the pandemic’s onset, the school’s teachers and students were therefore able to quickly pivot to remote learning by leveraging existing video conferencing tools and digital whiteboards. However, over time, these tools proved limited in their capabilities, leading the IT team to seek out new solutions to reimagine the online and hybrid learning experience.
CHALLENGES: Stevens’ initial setup required professors to come to class with multiple devices, including their laptops and tablets, as well as a camera that would be pointed to a traditional dry-erase board. For educators with digital whiteboards, they were leveraging digital whiteboards from various vendors. In addition to presenting challenges with standardization, these devices featured a frustrating lag between when users wrote on the board and when the digital text would appear, which interfered with the flow of instruction.
FINAL INSTALL/USER BENEFITS: When the IT team started looking for options to improve online and hybrid learning, they realized that Samsung’s interactive technology could connect professors and remote learners and enable them to collaborate just as if they were in the same classroom.
Offering Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI connections, and screen mirroring, Samsung’s interactive display integrated seamlessly with Stevens’ video conferencing software and tools. The intuitive display was immediately attractive for professors and faculty as it greatly reduced the learning curve for adoption. They could begin teaching and presenting course materials and videos with the display right out of the box. Today, professors enjoy the ability to record entire presentations, take screenshots, save files, and send them to students—all directly on the screen.
Samsung 65-inch 4K UHD Interactive Display (WM65R), Samsung 55-inch Direct-Lit 4K Crystal UHD LED Display (QB55B)
The real-time collaboration through Samsung interactive displays has become instrumental to bridging remote and in-person learning and made hybrid learning effortless. In some classrooms, professors use two interactive whiteboards—one in the back of the room with a gallery view of the remote students, and one in front of the room as a projection screen for annotations. During lectures, professors can annotate on the board with content mirrored directly on the students’ connected devices in real-time. Students can simultaneously take notes and interact with content live on their own screen. Notably, students have reported feeling more engaged than ever in these connected classrooms.
After seeing the positive impact of the interactive displays in the classroom, Stevens is fully embracing digital displays across its campus, including by designing new classrooms and buildings centered around interactive technology. New 55-inch Samsung digital signage has been installed in conference rooms, outside department buildings and other high-traffic areas. These displays allow Stevens to promote events, share news, raise school spirit, and connect its campus like never before.
[ Check out more from The Class of 2023: The AV/IT Teams of Higher Ed ]