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Technology needs for Fall 2020 instruction

We appreciate your patient assistance with all the planning underway for fall instructional activities.

Here, we are asking about technology needs to support remote accessibility. This is a pressing need, as all in-person and hybrid courses are expected to provide remote accessibility into the classroom for students who are in quarantine or who have not returned to campus for reasons related to the pandemic.

Technology may help accommodate this expectation, and we plan to place bulk orders for some of the more common items that support audio and visual aspects of instruction.


The university is ordering mics for all instructors who will be teaching in person to improve audio quality. Different microphone types (e.g. tabletop, clip-on) will be available to work with different room sizes and types.


For visual remote access, faculty should prioritize whatever is the most important for remote students to see: the instructor, the board or another writing surface, slides, or the room/classmates.

In many cases, we expect that Zoom will fulfill instructors’ needs, as it can be used to present to and interact with students in the classroom and online. Instructors can share their screen, show slides, use break out rooms, and chat with students in class and those connecting remotely. They can also video capture the course content. In discussion-based classes, students can log in to zoom using their laptops or phones so that students joining remotely can hear and see them.

In other cases, additional technology may be helpful. In particular, we are planning to place bulk orders for the following.

  • Mini camera-tripods that sit on a desktop and that will support either a small USB camera or a smart phone
  • Small USB cameras that can be used with the tripods to support video access to a lecture
  • USB document cameras than can be used as video inputs to a computer and can be shared via Zoom or projected in the classroom. With a document camera, instructors can write equations with pen and paper or film other small artifacts on a table
  • Wacom tablets that can be used for electronic white boarding and annotation. A Wacom tablet can be use as both a screen and as an input device for a computer. As an input device, the instructor can use the stylus as a mouse, to annotate content, to use white boarding applications, and/or to draw freehand. As an additional screen, the content on the tablet can be shared via Zoom or projected in a room.

(Scroll down for pictures of these devices and links to how they might be used.)

We understand that more/specialized options will be required for some classes (such as for certain labs and studios) and that departments/colleges may be able to address them internally or with existing A/V equipment or studios.

Please note: it will not be possible to buy these devices for all individual faculty members. We are asking you to consider the needs across your department. Please consult with the instructional faculty in your unit as appropriate, taking into account how these technologies can be shared. We realize course schedules are not set yet, but hope you will use your best judgement to help us arrive at rough estimates.

We will use this information to place an order on Monday, July 20th and thus we need to hear from you by Friday, July 17.

Chairs or program directors should coordinate with faculty so that there is only one entry per subject. Please respond below using an aggregate estimate for the program of study. Your estimate for these few items is not binding and just intended to give guidance as we place initial orders.



See below for more information about the document camera and the Wacom tablet.

IPEVO Document Camera

Wacom Tablet