They’re Golden

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go down to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta for Sanyo’s 3-millionth projector event. In celebration of their 3-millionth projector coming off the line, Sanyo donated a PLC-WTC500L to Georgia Tech. The projector was sold through AVI-SPL, and they were on hand as well.

Sanyo specifically chose Georgia Tech to be the recipient of this projector thanks to their long-standing relationship with Sanyo. We went to a bunch of different classrooms to check out the technology, and not only did every classroom we see have a projector (if not two or three), they were all Sanyo.

More interesting is Georgia Tech’s dedication to technology in the classroom, which is impressive. We were given the tour of Georgia Tech by Chris Hamlin, the university’s Technical Projector Director. He said that Georgia Tech has a projector in every single classroom on campus, and a significant number of the classrooms we saw had two or three projectors. One classroom used mainly by the executive MBA program had a projector facing a screen in the back so the lecturer can see students who are taking the class from another location. Distance learning is a big facet of their technology program. We stopped by their control room, where a technician was monitoring classes being either recorded or shown live to students all over the world.

One of the most interesting things I saw (well sort of – it’s still under construction) is what Georgia Tech is calling a Classroom 2.0, or a “Second Generation” of classrooms. They are building an experimental classroom that will not only try out new technology, but also a different classroom design that will change the way the class is taught. Another purpose of the mockup classroom is to eliminate technology redundancies, so space and money are saved by the university. For example, in some of the previous generation classrooms, there is power and Ethernet hookups at every single seat, but most students now use the wireless network, and not all students need to charge a laptop battery every class. Georgia Tech is building a mock Classroom 2.0 to test new designs for the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center building, which is set to open in Fall 2011. They will then look for professors willing to change their class design to suit the new environment to teach classes for the semester in the mockup classroom, and solicit feedback from students and teachers before the ultimate design is finalized.

In any case, Georgia Tech is obviously a place that is heavily investing in technology for the future and betterment of its students, so its no wonder Sanyo thought it’d be a good place to hang their 3 millionth projector. Congratulations to Sanyo on their achievement, and to Georgia Tech for being on the forefront of technology in education.