A photo of Kristina Frost teaching.

COVID-19 brought its share of challenges to higher education. Cloud County Community College answered those challenges with an investment in technology in classrooms to provide a higher quality learning experience for students.  

A photo of Kristina Frost teaching.

COVID-19 brought its share of challenges to higher education. Cloud County Community College answered those challenges with an investment in technology in classrooms to provide a higher quality learning experience for students.

 

Because of social distancing guidelines in response to COVID-19, the college was required to limit its in-person class sizes. This meant a shift from all face-to-face courses to the addition of hybrid sessions streamed via Zoom, or classes being moved fully online. With a greater reliance on technology, Cloud County made the decision to invest in equipment to make delivering a high quality education easier.

 

“It is imperative to adapt the technology needed for Zoom to support a quality education and give students a successful learning environment here at Cloud,” said Amber Knoettgen, President of Cloud County Community College.

 

There are currently five classrooms on the Concordia campus, which feature an 86” interactive flat panel display unit, sound bars and microphones, and a fixed camera.

 

The TV display units are fully interactive digital whiteboards, and replace the previous projector system that had been in place. Instructors can run a Zoom class through the screen, or use it for anything from working math equations to presenting class notes.

 

The sound bar is an integrated unit, with both speakers and 15 microphones, which make hearing the instructor during class much easier. Most rooms have two sound bars, and will pick up audio from anywhere in the classroom.

 

The new cameras have pan, tilt, zoom, and optical zoom capabilities. The camera can be controlled by the instructor to focus on several fixed points throughout the classroom.

 

“The audio and visual capabilities of these improvements for our faculty and students will ensure excellent service in the classroom,” Knoettgen said.

 

So far, the Information Technology and Maintenance teams have fully equipped five classrooms on the Concordia campus, with 11 more to complete. The Geary County Campus will have eight smart classrooms.

PHOTO: Kristina Frost, department chair of social and behavioral sciences and instructor in sociology and criminal justice, uses the new TV display unit in a classroom to conduct her hybrid class using Zoom and in-person instruction