AV Summit

Midwest College and University AV Summit v.10 was held at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota March 14 and 15, 2024, where the first Summit was held ten years ago.

We’re proud Karen Ethier, MA, gave the keynote address. She is President-Elect of the Educational Technology Collaborative (ETC) and Senior Director of Support Services at Roger Williams University. Additional sessions included:

1:00–3:00 p.m., Weitz 138
Side-by-side beam-forming and beam-tracking microphone demo

4:30 p.m., meet in Weitz Commons for a behind-the-scenes tour of the 2017 Music addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity, featuring Kracum Performance Hall and Applebaum Recital Hall, with special emphasis on DANTE (Digital Audio Networking Through Ethernet) with Matthew Zimmerman, Audio/Visual Production Manager, Carleton College, and Chris Dlugosz, Network Manager, who have been living with DANTE for nearly seven years. Matt Burr, Events Support Specialist, Carleton College, demo-ed some of the architectural stagecraft in Kracum.

6:00 p.m. dinner

8:00–8:45 a.m., Weitz Commons (104)
Breakfast and social time

8:50–9:00 a.m., Kracum Performance Hall (Weitz M104)
-Remarks: Rodney Fillmore and Jim Pierret
-Welcome, Janet Scannell, MS, Chief Technology Officer, Carleton College
-Stats and maps, Paul Bernhardt, Classroom Support Manager, Carleton College (slides)

9:00–10:00 a.m., Kracum Performance Hall (Weitz M104)
Keynote address: “Developing Influence:  Leading From Where You Are,” Karen Ethier, MA, President-Elect of the Educational Technology Collaborative (ETC) and Senior Director of Support Services at Roger Williams University (video and slides)

10:00–10:15 a.m. break

10:15–11:15 a.m., Kracum Performance Hall (Weitz M104)
Plenary session on AI in AV and Higher Ed (video), featuring:
Matt Clay, Assistant CIO for Academic Technology, Minnesota State University, Mankato, on building a new paradigm around the use of AI and why it’s important to understand our students and their interactions with AI;

Mark Gill, Director of the Visualization Lab, St. Cloud State University, on how they’ve been using generative AI in project development and how they’re hoping to leverage AI in the future (slides);

Michael Hooper, CTS-I, Education Sales Manager, BiAmp, on AI in noise reduction

Wiebke Kuhn, PhD, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College, on using Signals and Drivers to predict action around the use of AI in higher education (slides)
Wiebke Kuhn is part of Carleton’s AI Advisory Team, developing strategies, professional development, and guidelines around AI usage across campus.  Keeping an open mind about what AI can do, will be able to do, should not do, about its ethical, legal, political, pedagogical, social, economical, ecological, and cultural implications is a challenge we all face. Using the framework of Signals and Drivers, we can explore and imagine opportunities and hurdles without making commitments.

11:15–11:30 a.m. break

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., breakout sessions
Weitz 132
Unleash the Future: Supercharge Your Classroom with Mind-Blowing AI Noise Reduction,” Michael Hooper, CTS-I, Education Sales Manager, BiAmp, on AI noise reduction
This session will introduce a transformative approach to classroom audio using advanced AI technology. The focus is on mitigating audio challenges in educational settings, particularly issues such as audio fatigue. AI audio solutions dynamically adapt settings in real-time, creating a comfortable acoustic environment that promotes sustained engagement without causing strain.
The presentation will emphasize improvement of speech intelligibility, achieved through AI noise reduction that filters out background noise and fine-tunes parameters for clear communication. Notably, this innovation streamlines the manual adjustment process, reducing the time educators spend tinkering with audio settings. The result is an efficient and consistently high-quality audio experience, allowing instructors to concentrate on teaching. This session provides a glimpse into the future of education, showcasing how AI seamlessly integrates with audio systems to enhance the overall classroom experience.

Weitz 133
Learning Space Design for BYOD: What are some must-have features?Wiebke Kuhn, PhD, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College; and Matt Clay, Assistant CIO for Academic Technology, Minnesota State University, Mankato (video and slides)
A discussion of what’s working, how we can adapt to challenges, and how we can continue to innovate when it comes to BYOD in our learning spaces. We will bring 2022 survey results about classroom technology to the discussion.

Weitz 136
Employee Retention,” Mike Pedersen, Audiovisual Experience Manager, Iowa State University
Why do people leave their job? What steps can you take to retain your best employees? What is a Shoves-and-Tugs conversation and how do you have one? (video plus slides and a blank performance review form)

12:30–1:50 p.m., Weitz Commons (104)
lunch and raffle

1:50 p.m.–2:50 p.m., breakout sessions
Weitz 132
Using Bluebeam Revu for AV System Documentation,” Rick Nimtz, CTS, AV Design Consultant, University of Notre Dame (video and session materials)
How can I create documentation and keep it current? What is Bluebeam Revu and why should I use it? Notre Dame has tried many tools for documentation, including StarDraw, AutoCAD, Visio, and d-Tools. All have fairly steep learning curves and lack collaborative capabilities Bluebeam Revu has. Can I modify someone else’s existing documentation? How do I create a collaborative workspace so multiple entities can see and comment on the same drawings? How to use an inexpensive tablet to take drawings to the field? Is there a way to host a virtual meeting and everyone look at the same set of drawings? I just received a stack of drawings as .PDFs–how do I set the scale so I can use software dimension tools? Is there an easy way to create an equipment block so I can incorporate it into my drawing?

Weitz 133
Campus Classroom Management Plan,” Steven Meads, Associate Director of Technology Services, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (video, and slide deck in Sharepoint)
How can I effectively organize and prioritize the classroom AV work on a repeatable cycle? What toolsets and a methodology can help run a persistent program? Budgets can be intimidating–how best to get in front of budgeting in higher education? What governance model works to engage stakeholders? How much overhead is needed to run a program like this? specifically, the number of FTE and general cost? We’ll demo a tool-agnostic combination of our knowledge base, ITSM ticketing tool, AV tools, Office apps and regular planning meetings to put together a sustainable and efficient process for space management.

Weitz 136
Mikey Shaffer, Consultant Liason, Listen Technologies, on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it relates to Assistive Listening (AL) systems (video)

2:50 p.m. gather in Weitz Commons for:
tours of new classrooms in Evelyn Anderson Center (opened 2019) and Hasenstab Hall (renovated 2022),
onsite demo of inductive loop-based assistive listening installed in Skinner Memorial Chapel (renovated 2016), and
onsite demo of RF-based assistive listening in Kracum Performance Hall (commissioned in 2017)
demo of WiFi-based assistive listening in Weitz Cinema

4:45 p.m. (latest): adjourn for happy hour

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The Weitz Center’s Music Addition, which opened in 2017, was designed around DANTE. Late afternoon Thursday, we’ll tour the Music Addition during the day on Thursday, and hold Q&A with technical staff, who’ve been living on DANTE for nearly seven years. There’s no additional charge to participate, but we do ask you to rsvp.
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