IU Southeast Magazine - Spring 2014 - page 5

IU Southeast
Spring 2014 3
An Eye for Innovation
At IU Southeast, innovation
is the key to our future. Our
faculty, students, staff, alumni,
and donors are working
together to find new ways to
deal with existing challenges
in our region, and innovation
is taking place here every day.
At IU Southeast, we always
have been and always will be
committed to providing on-
campus programs that meet
the needs of the communities
we serve. At the same time, innovations involving online
education are allowing IU Southeast and other IU campuses
to scale up our offerings and to create economies of scale
through the sharing of courses and faculty across multiple
campuses in ways that have not previously been possible.
Imagine the possibilities, for example, when we bring the
resources from each regional campus together to offer
programs that no single campus could deliver alone.
IU Southeast Professor Michael Hutchins is one of the first
faculty member to teach in our new “EagleEye” classroom,
where he simultaneously engages students in New Albany
and at IU South Bend in his German class.
Sprechen sie EagleEye?
Picture two classrooms exactly 251 miles apart. Each has
fewer than a dozen students. The students are connected in
ways surpassing any traditional videoconference.
Knobview Hall 011 is specially equipped with two 70-inch
flat screen TVs, two dynamic webcams, three microphones
hanging from the ceiling and a computer station to control
it all. The heart of the room is a new distance-learning
and videoconference technology called Polycom EagleEye
Director. It’s the only classroom of its kind on the IU
Southeast campus.
Hutchins says he’s impressed with the technology. “So much
of what we do when we listen to someone is watch their
face,” said Hutchins. “I like it that my students can see me
talking close in. It allows them to comprehend more precisely
what I’m saying. But I also like to see what their faces are
doing when they’re speaking. It enables me to teach a class
at two locations at once, yet still create an engaging learning
environment for students within the classroom, and those
who are participating at the distant site.”
When someone starts speaking in a traditional classroom,
you turn to look at that person. EagleEye makes this possible
over a distance. Face-recognition technology and a grid of
microphones detect who in the room is speaking.
“When I first encountered the room without a whiteboard, it
terrified me because I didn’t know what I would do if I needed
to write something down for both sites. But when I saw that I
could write on a blank slide on PowerPoint, and that it would
transmit legibly to the other site’s screen, it was exciting
because I could see all these possibilities,” Hutchins said.
German and French are the first academic programs at
IU Southeast to use the EagleEye, but others are expected to
take advantage of it in the future.
Barbara Bichelmeyer serves as interim Chancellor of IU
Southeast and Senior Director of IU’s Office of Online
Education. She is Professor of Instructional Systems
Technology at IU Bloomington. You can follow Chancellor
Bichelmeyer on Twitter @iusechancellor.
Professor Michael Hutchins in the new “EagleEye” classroom.
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