Our audiovisual technologists, loan staff, and instructional consultants work directly with our patrons on a regular basis. Lead by Karl Aldag, our engineering team works just as hard behind the scenes to help support students, faculty, and staff. It is through their efforts that the instructional technology in the spaces we support (including classrooms, auditoriums, seminar rooms, and various other spaces) is designed, built, maintained, and updated.

Last fall, our engineering team completed the installation for the renovated spaces in Weiser Hall, wrapping up most of the work as courses were beginning in the fall and departments moved into their new office spaces. One of the most significant rooms in the building is the team based learning (TBL) room, Weiser 110/120. The design for the room focuses on teams of students doing active learning activities. The room includes TVs and inputs at each workstation so the students can work collaboratively on Google docs or other digital platforms. The instructor can share resources with students, and there are portable white boards available for students. The room can also be set up for more traditional events or lectures and can be divided into two smaller sections with a removable wall. The Weiser building also includes seminar rooms. Video conferencing and lecture capture capabilities are being added as necessary, with the top floor housing a high tech special event space.

Current projects include updating the podiums in classrooms from the 10 year old style to modern, new ones. The new podiums are more ergonomic models that are height adjustable from sitting to standing and far more accessible to people with disabilities. The engineering team also programmed new control panels that are faster and more responsive, and accept native digital inputs (like HDMI and the mini Display Port connectors that most Macs and many other laptops now use). The new setup includes Wacom touch screen monitors, blu ray players, and document cameras. The new setups are usually “digital end to end”—no more confusing adapters required for most laptops. And we are expanding the number of rooms that have lecture capture.

As we swing into summer, our engineers are hard at work trying to bring the new Biological Science Building instructional spaces online. Like the new Weiser Hall construction, this will have a team based learning space—our largest one yet, accommodating up to 144 students. There are also a number of other classrooms, lecture halls, and instructional or collaborative spaces. We are continuing to update rooms all across campus as well as replace old and broken devices, and as always, we are looking at future renovations and new construction around campus.

ISS tries to go above and beyond to meet the needs of the students, faculty, and staff that work in the spaces under our care. The quest to provide the best possible spaces for our patrons never ends. Remember, if you’re in a room and find there are problems with the equipment or anything else is wrong with the room, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Email iss-help@umich.edu or call 734-615-0100, and we’ll be there ASAP to resolve the issue! Don’t worry, there is no need to memorize the number—it’s listed on every podium and posted in virtually every LSA room and space.