Orlando, FL (October 26, 2021)—Held Tuesday and repeating on Wednesday, this year’s InfoComm Integrated Experience Tour: University of Central Florida is a hit with attendees visiting the UCF Downtown campus to discover how the cutting-edge learning facility incorporates innovative technologies to support its educational missions. The site, a collaboration between UCF and Valencia College, is a key component of Orlando’s $1.5 billion Creative Village mixed-use project, which opened in August, 2019. The multi-building campus has more than 300,000 square feet of learning space spread across 22 acres and, in non-COVID times, accommodates 7,000-plus students and 300 staff and faculty daily.
When creating the various learning spaces, UCF Downtown incorporated Crestron NVX into active learning classrooms, its state-of-the-art Maker Space, and various specialized facilities. These include the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), which offers a 16-month Masters in Interactive Entertainment, and the Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, which focuses on culinary arts and mixology.
Scott Pritchett, technology coordinator for UCF Downtown, guides the tours through the facilities, from typical classrooms to teaching kitchens and a Mixology Lab. In all cases, he discusses how the classrooms were adapted to remote teaching during COVID; while some learning spaces had webcams on tripods added to then in order to accommodate professors who don’t use podiums, other facilities such as the kitchens and the bar in the Mixology Lab were already making use of ceiling-mounted PTZ cameras, zooming in to allow students to see detailed work up close on nearby monitors.
Other tour highlights include visiting FIEA’s 3,300-square-foot motion capture studio, which has not only been used for student game production, but also professional efforts as well; the likes of Tiger Woods and Shaquille O’Neal have had their moves captured for posterity in the facility. A massive maker space is also onsite, offering students everything from audio recording facilities and 3D printers to Glowforge laser cutters and more. The tour culminates with a visit to the site’s Moot Court, providing an excellent chance to see how technology was integrated into a courtroom setting, with added insight provided by a UCF on-staff Crestron programmer, who discusses the needs of the different academic programs and how his department addresses them.