At the beginning of the semester we announced a face lift for the Faculty Computer Lab. Those changes are nearing completion.
The first and probably most noticeable change is that the lab is no longer serving as office space. Lynn Cooke’s office has been moved to Fuller 108, just down the hall next to Joe Horgos’ office. Both Lynn and Joe can assist you with access to the lab or in using the equipment in the lab. In the next few weeks, you’ll probably see both of them in the lab, learning to use the new interactive whiteboard systems.
We see one of the functions of the Faculty Computer Lab as a testing lab (AKA “sandbox”) for new technologies that you may want to try in the classroom. To that end we have installed two interactive white board systems that we have been piloting on campus, an Epson projector and a Mimio system. The Mimio system includes the Mimio bar, a document camera, and a Mimio pad. Both systems have their benefits but both require a bit of practice before you’ll be comfortable using them in the classroom. Since classroom access can be at a premium, having the Faculty Lab as a practice space will allow you to get comfortable before facing a classroom of students. We also have clicker systems that can be tested and checked out for use in the classroom. This summer we replaced our hard-to-use PRS systems with easier to use Turning Technologies clickers. As with the classroom response systems, the clickers may take some getting used to and practice in an environment similar to a classroom can help.
We also have other technologies you may be interested in exploring. We have web cameras and microphones for use in recording instructional video and audio from your laptop or desktop computers. We have some small video cameras similar to flip cameras that you might want to use in the classroom for a variety of activities. These devices are available so you can experiment with them without having to purchase a device that you may end up not using or which might not be quite right for your instructional situation.
In addition to these devices, we still have a document scanner and slide scanner for those who need to create electronic versions of documents or who are converting 35 mm slides to digital format. A wireless digitizing tablet is available if you need to draw or modify images. We have installed ArcView Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software on the 3 available computers.