Individual needs will differ based on teaching styles, content, and current devices on-hand. Some instructors will have everything they need while others will only have pieces of the overall puzzle. Each situation should be considered individually, and devices should be purchased or distributed to manage each need. Context of the teaching environment should also be considered. For the purposes of this guide, on-campus courses should be considered hybrid/remote courses, as some students will need to be remote regardless of format.
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All instructors must have access to a microphone, video device, and digital whiteboard device to provide high-quality offerings for remote learning. Please note that all formats (on-campus, hybrid, remote, and online) should consider whether they need to capture AV content, as it is likely that some students will need to be remote regardless of the chosen format.
Department Chairs should reach out to full-time and part-time faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants to identify which devices are available to them and where gaps need to be filled. Any identified gaps should be filled by utilizing this guide and contacting IT departments for evaluation and recommendation for specific cases.
During this time of remote learning, instructors need to be properly outfitted with equipment to offer remote synchronous and asynchronous content. Being properly outfitted in this aspect requires three key categories: Audio, Video, and Digital Whiteboard. These should be used in conjunction with a laptop computer in order to provide a high-quality remote learning experience.
Audio focuses on microphone quality for online / remote / hybrid lecturing. This is the highest priority for everyone, as it is imperative to have high-quality audio for remote learning.
Video focuses on two different aspects:
NOTE: Neither of these involve capturing a standard whiteboard from a distance. This is NOT a good student experience and NOT recommended.
Digital Whiteboard focuses on touch devices, which give you the ability to write and annotate on digital whiteboards and documents. This can be done in myriad ways. This should be prioritized just below audio in terms of importance, as it is crucial for everyone.
A Note on Procurement: Audio/video equipment is incredibly difficult to procure during these times due to incredibly high demand and manufacturing slowdowns during the pandemic.
It is important to have a portfolio of devices that can be procured from a variety of sources. Some concessions will need to be made with regards to either cost or quality to outfit instructors properly. This portfolio will need to be re-evaluated every 14 - 30 days, based on product availability. Because of this, product links below are intended to simply point you in the right direction. Be sure to search multiple distributors and sources in order to procure them effectively.
The easiest method to provide all three categories (audio/video/digital whiteboard) is the low-end iPad with 128GB of storage and an Apple Pencil (Gen 1). This costs $488 with EDU discounts (as of 7/14/2020). This device hits all three categories effectively and is recommended for anyone that does not have any of these categories covered at all. This provides a higher end combined “kit” for anyone that needs all three. A reasonable target price point for a teaching kit that includes all three devices should be $400 or less. If you have a little more to spend, then the low-end iPad is a nice solution for most people. If someone has a higher budget to work with, a tablet PC such as iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro with accompanying stylus should be recommended instead, as per CEDC IT Services tablet recommendations.