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Presentation Systems — Professor Ted Smith

We have had many advances in presentation technologies over the years. The teacher has had tools from blackboard to whiteboard to bandas to photocopiers to slides and TV and video. The pupil has moved from slate to ink well to fountain pen to biro and now has access to printers and plotters.


Ted Smith challenged the group to consider the question:

"could your parents have predicted what you are doing today?"

and, if not:

"can you predict what your children will be doing tomorrow?"


He led from this to suggest that if 80% of today's IT systems will be obsolete in 5 years time, we need to be adventurous in our aims and always ready to alter plans.


We need to be addressing the needs of a range of people participating in Higher Education, including: students, lecturers, researchers, support staff and we must be catering for special needs.


In the future we will have access to:

and we must be able to take advantage of these whilst recognising our responsibility to offer support for special needs.


Ted Smith's vision of the future sees the teaching room of the future geared up with lots of high technology features. We will have virtual reality facilities to extend the learning process. There will be fully equipped media and sensory labs in all major buildings. All teaching rooms will have SVGA-quality projection facilities. Lecturers and students will have lightweight portable workstations with gigabytes of memory, wireless transmission and full screen real-time video. We will be able to "print" in 3D to the desktop for design and modelling applications.


We need this and will be driven this way because we live in a visual world. Jobs will demand multimedia literacy. This technology will enable better communication with electronic media enabling easy transmission and access to facilitate groupwork, home study and just-in-time learning.


All staff and students will need to respond by gaining IT and presentation skills which will become a job requirement. All staff will have a workstation on their desk and easy access to media labs for input and output.


In conclusion, Ted Smith suggested that:



• we ain't seen nothing yet!

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