Hidden Gem on Campus with Advanced Classroom Technology

  OIT News  |     |  By Isabella Pupo
Large classroom with white desks and chairs that separates into three different classrooms.

While walking through the Academic Mall or passing by the Student Union, it might be easy to miss one of the most technologically advanced UNLV buildings located just across the street.

The Maryland Administrative Building 2 (MAB2) can be found on Maryland Parkway, facing the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center. MAB2 is home to classrooms, computer labs, and more for continuing education and educational outreach programs. MAB2 was not always intended to be this way however, originally starting out as a storage space before being completely remodeled to the innovative educational building it is today.

Manager of Classroom Technology Services Frank Alaimo from UNLV Information Technology (IT) helped implement some of the technology that MAB2 currently has alongside his team. IT Manager for the Division of Educational Outreach Russ Harrison also helps in continuously updating and improving the technology within the building. With their combined efforts, students and instructors using MAB2 have the opportunity to enhance and diversify their classroom experiences.

“Our goal was to have a clear upgrade from the building’s previous confines. The upgrade was meant to continue the classroom standards we have developed over the years in this new space,” Alaimo said. “We needed to maintain the equipment and support model used in other general purpose and departmental spaces on campus.”

Flexible Learning Environments
The features within MAB2 make learning adaptable to every student’s needs.

The 35,397-square-foot building contains six different RebelFlex classrooms where workshops, classes, lectures, and other activities can be held.

RebelFlex classrooms differ from regular ones, due to their added technology that makes what is being taught available to those participating in person and remotely. Equipped with high- definition cameras, ceiling microphones, video conferencing, and lecture capture technology, these classrooms extend accessibility for students who cannot be in the classroom and allow instructors different avenues for teaching their students.  

Ceiling camera with classroom in the background

A handful of these RebelFlex classrooms also include airwalls that separate one classroom from another. These airwalls can then be pushed back, combining RebelFlex classrooms together to make one large learning area. MAB2 is the first and only building on campus to have three RebelFlex classrooms with the ability to combine into a single classroom.

“The benefit of a space like this is modularity,” Alaimo said. “Classes can have three smaller groups at the same time in the morning and in the evening open the walls and have one large class. It really does allow for the best use of the space.”

Interactive Teaching
Although the features in MAB2 are similar to those in other buildings around campus, it continues to stand out among the rest with its unique classroom capabilities.

MAB2 has its own multimedia production studio for students to create and learn more about media production. With a projector and classroom technology included within the video production area, it can also serve as a classroom where students can seamlessly transition from taking notes to a hands-on learning experience.

Room facing the ceiling with green screen covering part of the wall

“With such a diverse student population, unique course offerings, and space limitations, Educational Outreach needed instructional spaces that were completely flexible,” Harrison said. “Frank and the Classroom Technology Services team helped us design these highly specialized rooms, such as the media production studio and the fashion design classroom, that also contain standard classroom technology for more traditional instruction.”

With technology such as these, MAB2 continues to provide better learning opportunities for students and improve teaching styles for those in continuing education and educational outreach classes.