It’s the end of an era for VHS tapes at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse: The school will become the first in the UW System to officially phase out VCR players.
UWL’s assistant vice chancellor and chief information officer Mohamed Elhindi said about 10 percent of UWL’s classrooms still have VCRs. Now, he says, once a VCR breaks, it’s done.
“The technology, it’s really becoming obsolete,” said Elhindi. “Replacing the technology and integrating this technology within the digital classroom technology that we utilize at UWL, it becomes a challenge.”
UWL has been encouraging faculty to convert their VHS tapes to DVDs for a few years, but this summer is the final push. It’s working with the legal department to help determine if copyright laws allow conversion.
Elhindi says UWL is trying to stay ahead of the times by phasing out VHS tapes.
“The last thing you want is your student graduating with an obsolete skill,” said Elhindi. “So our faculty, we’re requiring them to stay ahead and it’s hard. Technology changes really fast. So it’s a challenge but I think our faculty, our IT staff keep up really well with technology,” he said.
While all other UW schools have also been transitioning away from VHS for quite some time, there are no hard policies in place similar to UWL’s.