Revamped ITS Team Ready to Connect with Campus

Dec 12, 2018

Formerly known as the Learning Spaces Team, Information Technology Services’ newly renamed Audiovisual Experience Team (AVXT) hopes to connect with Iowa State’s campus through engaging technology experiences in classrooms and beyond.

The decision to rebrand the team was made earlier this year as a way to redefine its mission and provide a fresh start moving forward. A fixture on campus in one form or another since at least 1942, the team has undergone multiple name changes as the needs of campus changed and technology became more advanced.

“We needed to get ‘learning’ and ‘classroom’ out of the team’s name, because what we do covers more than just the classroom setting,” AVXT Manager Mike Pedersen said of the recent change, noting the team supports technology in conference rooms, research settings, and 208 classrooms in 40 buildings on campus, in addition to all of Iowa State’s digital signage. “Serving classrooms will always be our first focus, but we do much more, and not everyone knows of our full range of services.” 

Pedersen joined the team this summer and immediately saw an opportunity for positive change, starting with the team’s name. He looked to other Big 12 universities and the audiovisual system industry to get a better understanding of where technology is headed. He noticed InfoComm, a leader in the professional audiovisual and information communications industry, changed its name to the “Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association,” focusing on the human experience element of technology. 

To promote focusing on customers and how faculty and staff wish to use technology on campus, Pedersen suggested the team change its name from the Learning Spaces Team to the Audiovisual Experience Team.

“We want to draw in the experience aspect, we want to know more about desired usability rather than tech specifics,” Pedersen said. “If a professor tells me he wants to walk into a classroom and have his computer automatically connect to the display without messing with any cables or buttons, I want to know that. I want to hear what they’re imagining so we can get them closer to that.”

 

                                                        Audiovisual Experience Team Manager Mike Pedersen works on a Newline 86-inch     
                                                        multi-touch display located in  271 Durham Center. 

While the mission of the team is not changing alongside its name, it is becoming more defined. A two-way communication environment between facilities groups, departments, and the AVXT is being built to benefit Information Technology Services and the Iowa State community as a whole. In addition to improving communication, the team is also focused on developing a set of audiovisual technology standards that can provide reliable and professional technology experiences for faculty, staff, and students. 

“We strive to use contemporary classroom technologies found in corporate offices, that way when students begin their employment, they will be able to demonstrate their competence with the technologies,” Associate CIO David Popelka said. 

For technology assistance, you can reach the Audiovisual Experience Team by emailing them at avxt@iastate.edu. For audiovisual issues or time-sensitive requests, contact the IT Solution Center at 515-294-4000, email solution@iastate.edu, or visit 192 Parks Library.