Monday, October 13, 2008

Colleges Struggle to Keep 'Smart' Classrooms Up to Date? Not at Trinity!

Recently (10.17.08), the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on the frustration professors in many colleges and university are feeling about the lack of maintenance and upgrades to the so-called “smart” classrooms that were built a decade or so ago. Carl Pletsch, assistant professor of history at the University of Colorado, says the situation has gotten so bad that administrators "are now discouraging faculty members from using technology because they can't predict if it is going to work." Another professor quoted in the article noted that "The smart classrooms are now dumb.They have not been upgraded or adequately maintained."

Trinity’s commitment, by contrast, is impressive. Classroom computers and software are routinely and effectively updated. In our classroom, for example, we were experiencing a software problem. I requested help, and one of our IT staff was there, in person, in minutes. This reflects both a philosophical attitude and financial investment in providing the best for Trinity students.

Last week, my students paid a visit to the updated AT&T Center for Learning and Technology, which is available to all students. Their blog entries reflect the kind of impressive information literacy opportunities Trinity offers.

“It still completely astonishes me when I look around and see how technically advanced Trinity University is. Sure, it is a university and should be able to offer its students the best technology for their own personal educational advancements, but it has truly gone beyond that expectation.”
~Angel Dominguez, First-Year

“The Technology Classroom (Library 310) seats 27 in a three-tiered semicircle. Each student workstation has a computer connected to a switching system that allows the instructor to take keyboard, mouse & monitor control of or all student computers as desired.”
~Jen Wight, First-Year

“Each station is comprised of a group of computers, and each station has a different focus. This is the area primarily available for student use. Here you will find the latest hardware and software. All of the computers here are equipped with the full Adobe suite for all kinds of projects. For video editing, the Apple computers are equipped with iMovie and the PCs are equipped with Sony Vega. There isn't much one couldn't do in the studios to make an impressive presentation. I could use these studios to create and/or edit a video or multimedia presentation for this or another class.”
~Jordan Enloe, Junior

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