MAILED: June 27, 2000
Several classrooms around the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus are receiving technology makeovers during the summer session.
The Media Development Center at UW-Eau Claire has about 25 classroom-related projects in process at a total cost of about $100,000, said MDC Administrative Program Manager Bert Spangler.
Most of the classrooms designated for upgrades will receive new or replacement equipment such as computers, videocassette recorders and video/data projectors.
Video/data projectors, which allow individual computer screens to be projected for an entire class to view, are being installed in 12 classrooms.
Six rooms will receive new or replacement computers, and six will be equipped with VCRs, Spangler said.
The demand for this type of equipment in the classrooms has been increasing rapidly, Spangler said. "The greatest change we've seen in the past few years is the increased use of computers in classrooms," he said.
Prior to about three years ago, only three or four rooms were equipped with computers.
By this fall, nearly 40 rooms will have computers and nearly 60 will have video/data projectors, he said.
Although several of the projects involve the installation of first-time equipment, the majority require the replacement of old equipment with that which is more advanced and technically compatible.
"A large portion of our budget is being used for the replacement of obsolete equipment," Spangler said.
The lifetime of the equipment varies, according to Spangler, but is usually somewhere around four to five years.
When the equipment is removed from the classrooms, it is put into portable use within the department or sold to the general public through the campus surplus property program, he said.
The renovations are under way in buildings around campus and are expected to be complete by the time classes begin in the fall.
Until about two years ago, projects were spread out throughout the school year.
The majority of classroom renovations are now handled during the summer months because classrooms are more available and the work causes fewer disturbances to classes, Spangler said.
Spangler said this summer's renovations are typical of other years.
The same types of projects are usually undertaken each year at about the same cost.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: June 29, 2000