The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) reaffirms its commitment to opportunity and access with a newly created high-level appointment. Kishi Animashaun Ducre, associate professor of African American studies (AAS), is the college’s inaugural associate dean of diversity, equity and…
Improved Classroom Technology Helps Ensure Student Success
Since last summer, Information Technology Services (ITS) has been upgrading the technology and accessibility resources in numerous registrar classrooms. Through its Learning Environments and Media Production (LEMP) group, ITS has a goal to upgrade 30 more learning spaces this coming summer to meet new technology and accessibility standards. LEMP supports more than 200 technology classrooms across campus.
Notable classroom upgrades have been in 237 Sims and 241 Sims. “The classrooms now host the latest technology, and they got a major facelift thanks to Campus Planning, Design and Construction. We replaced technology systems used by instructors and students,” says Mike O’Mara, director of LEMP. “The rooms are now equipped with high-definition projection and displays, Windows 10 computers, Blu-Ray players, web-based video conferencing, high-fidelity playback speaker systems and accessibility features.”
Instructors are pleased with the classrooms upgrades. Bruce Kingma, professor of entrepreneurship in the School of Information Studies and Whitman School of Management and former provost for entrepreneurship and inovation, says the upgrades have been working well in his classrooms. “I have one guest Skype in,” he said. “This was simple and easy, and the speaker quality was clear.” Kingma teaches in 202 Hall of Languages this semester, another room whose technology was upgraded. Kingma records all class presentations using Blackboard Collaborate. He has noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the audio and video. “It’s wonderful to go into a classroom and simply start the Blackboard Collaborate recording and know the results will be good,” he says, “The sound, video and lighting are perfect.”
“Better technology helps create better classroom environments,” says Sam Scozzafava, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “Technology has a powerful effect on teaching and learning, and ultimately, student success.”
Professors and instructors who need help adjusting to the new technology in their classrooms can call on O’Mara and his team. “Whenever we upgrade the technology, we reach out to instructors to do a quick start session,” he says. “This group session will teach instructors about the newly implemented systems and allow them to get hands-on and ask questions.” LEMP also offers one-on-one training, and help is available on their pages in Answers.syr.edu. Of particular interest will be the Classroom Resource Guide.
For more information about ITS and LEMP visit them on the web.