Seven Things That Might Interest You Regarding Technology at Berea
1. Berea Target’s Fall Semester to Complete Transition to Moodle
A total of 120 faculty have made the transition to Moodle and are managing 150 classes this fall semester on the new open source courseware product. In addition, 112 faculty completed an hour long training session on Moodle to gain familiarity with the new system. At the end of fall semester, Blackboard will no longer be supported on campus. Anthony Basham is working with the remaining 18 faculty that are using Blackboard this semester to facilitate the transition. Moodle is accessible through the myBerea portal and students accessing the portal automatically have single sign-on access to Moodle. This feature will be deployed soon for the faculty portal as well. Since Moodle is open source software, the College will save $15,000 annually. Beginning in spring semester, those savings will be used for faculty support and development in the integration of technology in the teaching and learning process.
2. Wireless Connectivity on Campus Expands Significantly Over the Summer
Phase III of our wireless rollout was completed over the summer. This phase significantly expanded wireless coverage to include the following buildings:
|Instructional Buildings||Residence Lobbies||Multi-Purpose|
|Goldthwait AgriculturePresser HallHafer-Gibson Nursing
Rogers-Traylor Art Building*
Jelkyl Drama Building*
Knapp Hall – Education Dept.
Mueller Student Crafts
Sunshine Ballard Cottage
Seabury Residence Hall
|Seabury CenterLincoln HallBruce Trades
Estill Street Complex
Phelps Stokes Chapel
Most Outside Areas
* In progress ** Will be completed in phase IV of project
3. Introducing Two New “Applied Technology Labs”
Berea has two new applied technology labs in place to support our academic programs. This includes an “Applied Technology Student Walk-in Lab” in the Library (room 230) and an “Applied Technology Classroom Lab” in the Tech Building. Both labs feature high-end dual-boot computers running applications such as CAD software, DVD production software, and audio/video editing applications. We will continue to add new capabilities to these labs as we work with faculty in various disciplines.These labs were designed to support faculty and students when the curriculum requires that we “push the limits” of existing technology, when leading-edge applications are used or when students need to be exposed to multiple platforms, as well as emerging software, technologies, and tools. Students should continue to use their EDGE laptops for mainstream needs such as browsing the web, completing assignments, writing, conducting on-line research, checking email, and other routine tasks that can be handled easily through EDGE laptops
The introduction of the two “Applied Technology Labs” allows us to keep the cost of the EDGE laptop program in check by providing alternative venues for faculty or students when demands on technology exceed laptop capacity. The Applied Technologies Classroom in the Tech Building features identical dual-boot computers but the facility is designed for classroom use as opposed to walk-in traffic.
Applied Technology Student Classroom
Applied Technology Student Lab
4. New Classroom Media Technology
New Extron classroom media systems are being piloted during fall semester in 11 classroom facilities on campus as listed in the below chart. So far, the feedback from faculty has been very positive. These classroom media systems are easy to use and allow faculty to focus their time on teaching rather than wrestling with media technology. At the end of fall semester, our Media Services Coordinator will be polling faculty that have used the classrooms below. If feedback continues to be positive, we are prepared to expand the rollout of the new Extron media system to remaining classrooms.
Draper:100, 205 & 310
Agriculture: 304 Science: 106
Library: 107 Knapp: 104
Nursing: All three classrooms
5. New Instructional Technology Support Site on Moodle
Our new Instructional Technology Moodle site is available to all faculty and provides links to the following resources:
- Instructional Guides, Blogs, and News sites: To support the integration of technology in teaching and learning.
- Supported Instructional Technology: This includes resource links to our survey software, Turnitin, SMART Technology, Moodle/Blackboard, and our Extron classroom media systems.
- Instructional Technology Equipment for Checkout: This covers various equipment that can be checked out by faculty for instructional needs.
- Freeware and Web Resources: There is a wide range of freeware listed that can be used for instructional needs such as digital video/graphic editing, audio recording, digital storytelling, free social media sites, Wikis, and Blog services as well as free virtual and augmented reality environments, video streaming and upload sites, and podcasting.
- Software and Devices to Support Students with Learning Disabilities: This includes resource links to assist faculty and students in identifying appropriate tools to accommodate various learning disabilities.
This is just a start. Our hope is that we will be able to add more online resources to this site as faculty conversations continue this year.
6. Berea’s Blended Learning Initiative
We are seeking interested faculty that would like to take part in a new “Blended Learning” initiative. The goal of blended learning is to create an environment with the right mix of technologies and personal interaction to create a socially supported, dynamic, and constructive learning experience for our students. Of course, the right blending of learning methodologies is dependent on many factors, including the nature of the particular course, the audience, and the desired learning outcomes. Hybrid or blended learning may incorporate e-learning (electronic), m-learning (mobile), learning management tools, virtual simulations, virtual reality software, group work, and traditional classroom instruction to develop a mix of experiences that engage students and appeal to different learning styles.If you are interested in this effort, we are developing a new facility in the Library called the “Applied Technology Faculty Studio”. This facility will be designed with faculty input to create a place where we can explore the use of technology to promote learning outcomes and achieve curriculum goals. If you are interested, please contact Dr. John Lympany at email@example.com.
7. Looking Forward
- Banner 8.0: We are on schedule for a mid-October implementation of Banner 8.0. For more information on this release click here.
- Microsoft Live: Preparations are underway to transition Berea students to the Microsoft Live cloud service.
- Video Streaming: A Vbrick video streaming solution has been purchased to facilitate streaming of instructional content and television through the campus network. Implementation of the new system will begin during fall semester.
- Trustees Room: A complete upgrade of the audio/video technology in the Seabury Trustees Room will be completed the week of September 20.
- Video Conferencing: Several vendors were on campus over the summer to present portable video conferencing systems in order to support campus communications as well as teaching and learning on campus.
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss any of these projects further, please contact Dr. John Lympany, Chief Information Officer, at extension 3990.