New telepresence technology finally functional in WLLC 217


Thomas Streeter

Mike Dente

WLLC room 217 has been dark since the semester’s beginning, despite plans for the former main computer lab in WLLC to have become the largest site for telepresence on campus by summer’s end.
As the weeks ticked by, the room remained closed, still not part of the growing telepresence infrastructure at NVU-Johnson.

The problem, which is said now to have been resolved, has been adapting the previous telepresence program to the program currently in operation.
According to NVU Chief Technology Officer Mike Dente, while the room itself was set up for telepresence, the technology used for this activity had to be switched over to Zoom Teleconferencing from Cisco Teleconferencing, which has been necessary to ensure all telepresence rooms on campus are compatible with each other.

“The other telepresence rooms that we have at Lyndon and the other telepresence room in Bentley all use Zoom, so we had to get a whole different setup for the old telepresence to talk to the new telepresence, and it took a while to get that all set up,” Dente said. “They are pretty much set up now and it is ready to go. At first we were not sure exactly how we were going to connect the newest ones with the old ones…that is what happened; we use Zoom for everything and we want to make sure Zoom works everywhere so that the faculty get the same experience in every telepresence room pretty much.

The new room has the capability of interaction between both Johnson and Lyndon’s telepresence setups. The number of telepresence rooms between the two campuses will increase. “The idea is to…expand the classes that will be run between Lyndon and Johnson…I know there are some faculty from Lyndon teaching at Johnson and Johnson teaching at Lyndon now, so I think we will expand more of those opportunities for classes, especially as we combined into the newer schools model between the two campuses for NVU,” Dente said.

According to an email from Associate Registrar & VA Certifying Official Tammy Carter, six courses utilize telepresence this semester: MAT-3210 Linear Algebra, HIS-3310 18th & 19th Century Europe, ACC-450 Audit & Assurance Services, AHS-3710 Physiology of Exercise, MAT-3310 Differential Equations, and MAT-1531 Calculus I. “In previous semesters there have been more business and accounting courses that were offered using this technology,” Carter wrote.

Now, students will have access to the space, which was previously a computer lab.