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Miami University upgrades tech ahead of fall semester

Updated: Aug. 17, 2020 at 8:55 AM EDT
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OXFORD, Ohio (FOX19) - Aug. 17 kicks off the fall semester at Miami with students learning completely online the first five weeks.

A typical summer at the university includes upgrading an average of 150 classrooms, but that number has tripled, and then some, preparing appropriately for school during a pandemic.

At the Oxford campus, there's a major focus on the use of non-traditional spaces.

To account for social distancing and the health and safety of students, Miami is using auditoriums, chapels, ballrooms and multi-purpose rooms to hold in-person classes in addition to traditional classroom settings.

Putting classroom technology in these areas has been a massive rollout, adapting for teachers and students according to the in-person, hybrid, remote model.

“So you’d have students who would be inside the classroom and outside the classroom, have instructors who would have to teach to students who are fully remote, and our classrooms, as you would expect, are mostly set up for people to be in the room. So we went through and added wireless microphones, added a document camera that can act as a webcam, an interactive whiteboard, and zoom,” David Seidl, VP for IT Services & CIO said.

Seidl adds that in some cases during the pandemic, Miami had to deal with six to eight-week delays on supplies for upgrades.

They also upgraded parking lot WiFi on regional campuses to take care of commuter students who may prep from their car as another factor in social distancing.

The move-in process for undergraduate students is scheduled to start Sept. 14 with Sept. 21 set as the first day of in-person classes.

Cody Powell, associate VP of facility planning and operations, says recent numbers from the provost’s office indicate a model that would show 19% learning in-person, 48% hybrid and 33% completely online.

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