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Aug. 24, 2005

New ULM Display System Designed to Help Communicate With Students

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is using a new system, AxisTV, to help communicate with students. This new web-based display system will show messages on 13 strategically placed flat screen plasma monitors throughout campus. These messages can contain plain text and picture backgrounds plus audio and video.

Communicating effectively with students is an ongoing challenge at any university, but ULM officials feel this new system is a step in the right direction. "We have email, we have meetings, we have even had other electronic systems, but we feel that AxisTV will help us reach the students in a new way," said Amy Weems, Interim Assistant Dean of Student Life and Leadership at ULM.

During the summer, screens were installed on campus and now all are ready for the Fall 2005 semester. Messages will be displayed on the 50" monitors in the Administration Building (foyer), Sugar Hall (1st floor student lounge), Nursing Building (next to elevator), Chemistry and Natural Science Building (between rooms 100-101), two in the WigWam, Sandal (bookstore facing checkout), Recruitment and Admissions (foyer), ULM Library (in the main lobby), Strauss (in south stairwell), two in Shulze Cafeteria, and one in the ULM Activity Center (foyer).

ULM has used other electronic systems in the past, but this one is different. "This system enables us to have several content managers as opposed to one, which allows for much more volume and variety in what is posted," said Adam Taylor, Video and Wireless Network Technician in the ULM Computing Center.

Taylor, who initially implemented the system, says the audience can also be specifically targeted by the multi-displays. "For example, the displays in the cafeteria areas can show menus for the day, while the monitor in the activity center can show group exercise schedules. Displays in academic buildings can show group meetings whereas all displays will show general ULM information such as holiday closings, finals test days and other messages targeted to all students."

"The system allows this university to be on the cutting edge," said Dr. Wayne Brumfield, Vice President of Student Affairs at ULM.

"One of the biggest concerns we have at ULM is how to continue to put our students first and I think this is a great way. These monitors are displayed in very visible places throughout the campus and all students should have a good idea of the events happening at ULM," said Brumfield.

"One of the best aspects of this new messaging system is how it was purchased," said Weems. "Students funded this system through STAP (Student Technology Access Plan) funds and it is my understanding that 13 more monitors will be purchased by the students next year. This really shows that the students are supporting communication on this campus and we are always proud of that."

AxisTV visual messages can be simple and elegant or visually complex based on selected options and creative resources. ULM also has the ability to include MPEG video, audio, composite images, still graphics, data feeds, text crawls and links to dynamic images on the web or local area networks.

Many faculty and staff members at ULM will have the ability to post messages to this system. Messages are limited to ULM related activities only.

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