2008 — A big year for improving classrooms at Penn

2008 has been a very busy year for the Classrooms Committee and everyone who helps support Penn's Central Pool Classrooms.

The work we did this year has resulted in big improvements to the teaching environment at Penn.  The availability, convenience and reliability of classroom technology is much improved over past years.  This in turn allows faculty to bring more interactivity and modern scholarly practices directly into the classroom.

The list of major improvements for 2008 includes:

  • Complete renovation of 11 classrooms on the 3rd floor of Williams Hall, including full technology installation.
    Of the 45 Central Pool classrooms in Williams Hall, 40 now have computer projection capabilities.
  • Meyerson Hall B2 was completely renovated, including installation of a high-definition, wide-screen computer projection system and electric outlets at every seat so students can use their computers in class.  New high-definition, wide-screen projection in Meyerson B1
  • New classrooms constructed in the Jaffe Building, Goddard Labs and Hayden Hall.  All include computer projection systems; Hayden Hall 360 includes power outlets at every seat as well as microscopes and tables where students can examine mineral specimens
  • New computer projection systems installed in Museum 328, McNeil 286-7 and 3 classrooms on the 4th floor of DRL
  • Reconfigurtion of display systems in DRL A6 and Goddard 101 to improve viewing angles
  • Modifications made to Museum 329 to accommodate a new mini-lab where students can study artifacts from Museum collections
  • Computers in all SAS Central Pool classroom and computer labs upgraded to Windows Vista (with Office 2007) or Mac OS 10.5.  Numerous special programs such as Matlab, SPSS and ArcGIS are now widely available in classrooms and labs
  • Architectural  planning commenced for renovation of DRL A1, A2, A4 and Moore 216; these rooms are scheduled for renovation during the summer of 2009
  • Architectural and technology planning completed for classrooms in the new Music Building, scheduled to open January 2010
  • Technology updates in many classrooms, including major upgrades to the equipment in College Hall 200.
  • We now have Smart Sympodium displays installed in several auditoria (College Hall 200, Logan Auditorium, Stiteler B6, Leidy 10, Chem 102). The Sympodium instructors to mark-up the projected computer image using a special electronic pen and computer monitor
  • Installation of Turning Point software in SAS Central Pool classrooms, so instructors can conduct instant polls with their students using "Classroom Clickers"
  • Installation of assistive listening technologies in several rooms

The work of renovating Penn's Central Pool Classrooms is performed by a core group of staff from Provost's Classrooms Facilities Review Committee.  This group includes staff from the Office of the Registrar, VPUL, Classroom Technology Services, University Facilities Services, SAS Computing and SAS Facilities; Ron Sanders, University Registrar, leads the group.  Al Matthews, Ira Winston and John MacDermott of SAS Computing are members of the Committee.

Use the Classroom Finder to get details about the technology, support and other details of Central Pool Classrooms

Please contact John MacDermott if you're interested in learning more about the classroom technology capabilities available to SAS faculty and students.