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Bringing Technology to the Classroom Promotion

In an effort to expand technological classroom capabilities, Academic Technologies (AT) has implemented a robust and cost-effective technology solution that introduced new digital classroom standards to the university. The Digital Transition Initiative began in summer 2014 to upgrade more than 60 existing technology classrooms to meet new digital standards.

The new digital classroom standards allow you to display high-quality video content and in some classrooms wirelessly stream multimedia content from Apple devices in AT-supported spaces. Additionally, web conferencing features allow you to invite guest lecturers from around the world into your classroom.

These new standards allow you to display video content without having to worry about copyright security protocols. Older analog display systems, like VGA and S-video connections, will not display newer, copyright protected materials because media manufacturers have implemented a form of digital copy protection called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Digital display systems, unlike analog systems, support embedded security protocols, ensuring you can safely and securely display up-to-date, HDCP-encrypted content.

Interface Design


A consistent experience in

Any classroom, on any campus.

A unified user interface simplifies your experience in the classroom. The updated interface ensures the touch panels will look and operate similarly across your classrooms. The unified design is easier for Academic Technologies to support and update. The graphical interface makes it easy to find and select the source you want to display. Our interface design team spent months analyzing the operation of touch panels and other touch-enabled devices. The resulting interface is simple and clean, making the user experience seamless and intuitive.

  • Touch Panel - Home Screen

    The home screen brings all of the sources to the forefront. Large, colorful icons make it easy to select your source. And with the unified design, source icons are the same color in all classrooms.

  • Interface Design - PC Screen

    Once you have selected a source, the source icon appears in the interface, reminding you with one glance what is displaying to the classroom. The volume controls are large and easy to identify, making it easy to adjust volume and mic levels.

  • Interface Design - Laptop Screen

    In the laptop source selection screen, next steps appear within the interface to help you connect your device to the AV system. The home button takes you back to the beginning.

  • Interface Design - DVD Screen

    In the DVD source selection screen, you can preview the content you’re displaying to your class and easily operate the player from the touch panel interface.

  • Interface Design - Document Camera Screen

    The Document Camera source screen provides a preview of your display, freeing you to focus your attention to your class, rather than the projector screen. You may zoom and focus directly from the preview screen.

  • Interface Design - Web Conferencing Screen

    The Web Conferencing interface gives you one-touch controls for camera views, and allows you to manually adjust the cameras to customize what your remote audience sees. This interface also allows you to select the source to display to all participants.

  • Interface Design - Video Conferencing Screen

    The Video Conferencing dialing screen simplifies the process of establishing a call by giving you only the controls you need when you need them. Once you have dialed the IP address, you are automatically moved to the next page. You may save frequently dialed numbers to quickly access them later.

  • Interface Design - Camera Controls Screen

    Within the Video Conferencing interface, source icons mirror those shown on the home screen so that you can easily find the source you want to share with your participants. Clear the screen when you do not want anything to appear to.

Collaborative Interface Design


Facilitating active learning and

Classroom collaboration

Developing an intuitive and unified user experience across campuses is a critical objective of the Academic Technologies department. Each design project has its own set of complexities, requiring close collaboration among faculty and our staff. While we can reference and use the knowledge and designs attained through earlier projects, new projects require unique prototypes to accommodate specific and varied requirements. We worked diligently to create a user experience that encourages and facilitates active learning and classroom collaboration.

  • Collaborative Interface - Home

    The home screen for the touch panel in Discovery Hall 132 includes the "Laptop Collaboration" and "Video Collaboration" source icons.

  • Collaborative Interface - Discovery Hall

    The Laptop Collaboration source allows the instructor to display content from a portable device, e.g., a laptop, through a VGA, HDMI, or Display Port video connection. An instructor may share student content by selecting one of the numbered tables on the interface in this active learning environment.

  • Collaborative Interface - Video

    The Video Collaboration source enables instructors to control multiple video cameras to facilitate active learning. The instructor may want to direct the camera toward a student’s desk where they can walk their classmates through their results of a class activity. Alternatively, the instructor may direct the camera toward one of the three whiteboards, to facilitate viewing the class material from all directions

  • Collaborative Interface - Laptop

    In addition to displaying Laptop Collaboration and Video Collaboration sources to the class, the instructor has the ability to display those sources to a remote audience through a web conferencing application. This diagram depicts the Laptop Collaboration source within the Web Conferencing interface.

  • Collaborative Interface - Web Conferencing

    The interface within Web Conferencing is similar to that of Laptop Collaboration and Video Collaboration. This diagram depicts the Video Collaboration source within the Web Conferencing interface.

  • Collaborative Interface - Mock Ups

    We developed 18 interface mock-ups during this project. This diagram depicts four designs we evaluated to indicate the table locations in the classroom.

  • Collaborative Interface - Mock Ups

    We conducted usability testing to ensure end-users’ needs were met as we worked to finalize the best experience for instructors in the active learning environment. We evaluated various options to identify the selected table. This diagram depicts two designs we evaluated to identify the selected table.

The Internet of Things


Unlocking a new, digital era

of teaching and learning

We stand at the forefront of a new world where everything can be connected to the Internet. It’s called the Internet of Things. Emerging technologies have enabled many types of devices to possess an IP address, allowing connection to the global electronic communications network.

This advanced technology is already in place at the George Washington University, heralding a new era for teaching and learning that brings exciting developments and extraordinary possibilities to classrooms. Through the Digital Transition Initiative, Academic Technologies is replacing analog classroom equipment with state-of-the-art digital components, and connecting projectors, touch panels, computers, AV systems, lighting controls, and more to the Internet.

Through new devices and sensors, all the technological equipment you touch and see in classrooms is directly connected to our support staff through the Internet, enabling AT to anticipate your needs and thus, meet them faster and more efficiently. For example, we can now monitor projector lamp hours and preemptively alert technicians to replace bulbs. Remote access to classroom equipment allows our support staff to immediately resolve technical issues, maximizing the learning experience. Furthermore, the connected classrooms provide detailed usage data, facilitating cost-effective decisions for purchasing and maintaining classroom equipment, as well as various replacement components.

At the George Washington University, we embrace the latest technological advancements and continue to create an environment that supports innovation and discovery for our students and faculty.


Summer 2018 updates coming soon

Academic Technologies began executing a multi-year plan in the summer of 2014 to upgrade existing technology classrooms to meet new digital standards. Through fall 2017, more than 60 classrooms with analog AV technology will be transitioned to digital classroom standards.

Stay up-to-date on which classrooms have been completed and the expected completion dates for other learning spaces.

Completed Summer 2014

1957 E St

B17, B12, 113, 211, 212, 213, 214

Completed Summer 2015

Phillips Hall

108, 109, 110, 111

Funger Hall

108, 207, 208, 209, 210, 220, 221, 222, 223

Innovation Hall

101, 102, 105, 106, 107

Media and Public Affairs Building

B07, 302, 305, 309, 310

Completed Summer 2016

Duques Hall

151, 152

Funger Hall


Rome Hall

204​, 206, 350, 351, 352, 459

Completed Summer 2017

Duques Hall

250, 251, 259, 360, 361, 362

Hall of Government

101, 102, 104

Monroe Hall

B32, 113, 251, 352, 353

Phillips Hall

B152, B156