Memo to SAS Faculty who use Towne, Pender, Moore

seeking advice on tech installations for Summer 1995


                                   MEMO

To:       SAS Faculty who teach in Moore, Pender, and/or Towne
From:     Al Filreis, English, SAS
          John Smolen, Exec. Dir., Student Information & Systems,

This memo seeks your advice on planned renovations to classrooms in
the Moore, Pender, and Towne Buildings.  If you haven't the time to
wade through the preliminaries--though we hope you will--you should
skip to the indented paragraphs below, where we ask specifically for
your help.
          
For the past three years the Provost's Classroom Facilities Review
Committee has sponsored renovations to central-pool classrooms.  Stan
Chodorow is *very* keen to continue the work first proposed by Michael
Aiken: to make a dramatic difference within a span of six or seven
years to all central-pool classrooms (those rooms, that is, that do
not "belong" to Schools but are operated and scheduled by the central
administration).  An extensive survey conducted by the committee in
its first year, chaired then by Elizabeth Johns, found that the
situation was dire--among other things, morale among teaching faculty
in these classrooms was quite low.  

The Committee consists of faculty members from across the
Schools--especially representing faculty who teach in classrooms in
direst need of renovation--and a wide range of administrators from
across the Schools and from within the central administration who have
always concerned themselves with classrooms, but who, until the
formation of our committee, had little contact with faculty when
planning classroom use.

The results of our work have sometimes been spectacular--for instance,
Williams 103-105 and Leidy Labs (Room 10), both recent Classroom
Committee projects (we urge you to visit them).  We have also
renovated spaces in DRL, Bennett Hall, Meyerson, and Stiteler, and we
designed and installed the computing-projection technology in the new
Jaffe Building. Sometimes we have found that we cannot redo a room as
wholly as we would like, but manage to improve it significantly--as
with Meyerson B1 last summer.  

The Committee has already set a priority list of projects for the next
three summers at least.  
   
One of our main efforts is to integrate standard physical renovation
(lighting, ceilings, seating, floors, window hangings, blackboards,
ventilation, etc.) with the installation of state-of-the-art
projection and computing hardware and software--the sort of technology
that is rapidly changing the way we teach.  Obviously it is cheaper to
do both these kinds of renovations at once than to install classroom
hardware now and then later redo ceilings, lighting, seats, etc.  

     This summer and next we will concentrate our efforts on buildings
     in the Engineering School complex.  Ira Winston of SEAS (a member
     of our committee) is supervising the technology aspects of the
     project for us and is working closely with the Implementation
     Subcommittee, chaired by John Smolen.

     ENGINEERING FACULTY ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES USING CLASSROOMS IN 
     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     MOORE, PENDER AND TOWNE.  IN FACT, SAS FACULTY ARE HEAVY USERS of
     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     the space; thus we are asking for your reaction to the types of
     technology planned for these rooms.  If you do teach in any of
     the rooms in Engineering, please comment on the description
     offered just below.  If you would like to discuss the matter
     further, feel free to contact Ira directly (ira@cis.upenn.edu).

     Generally the plan is to put in two projection systems in some
     classrooms; in these, one projector, a high-lumen overhead, would
     focus on one screen at the front of the room.  This overhead will
     support transparencies, but will not provide any support to
     opaque projection, which at the moment is not being considered as
     part of the need in these rooms.  A ceiling mounted projector,   
     capable of handling signals from VCRs, Macintosh, DOS/Windows 
     and workstation machines, would be directed to a second screen. 
     There would be installed in the room a PowerPC computer with
     built-in CD ROM player. The computer would support both Macintosh
     OS and DOS/Windows.  A super VHS-VCR would support VHS material. 
     In addition, facilities will be available for plugging
     in standard DOS/Windows and Macintosh portables.  In the larger 
     classrooms, Speakers would be built into the ceiling and sound
     would be controlled from an amplifier.  Note that there doesn't 
     yet seem to be a need for laser disc players, video cameras
     and other analog devices, opaque projection, and digital
     cameras and other plug-in digital devices. 

     In smaller rooms we will be using a cart with a large screen TV
     monitor and no built-in computer. 

     If you are now, or will soon, be teaching with the new
     technology, does this plan meet your needs?  Especially if you
     believe we have missed some crucial component, contact us
     immediately.