College of Arts and Science professors can now teach in new ways from several classrooms set up with new computers and other higher technology.
Three high-tech anthropology teaching laboratories were finished during fall semester 2011. The labs will ceremonially open Feb. 3.
“We’re all adapting our curriculum to the brand new spaces,” Scott Suarez, assistant professor of anthropology, said.
Some of the lab technology includes new Mac computers and new software specific to anthropology. Each lab’s technology is tailored to different subfields: cultural and linguistic anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology.
“Ideally, [the labs] will also be used for students to gather and exchange information,” Suarez said.
Leighton Peterson, assistant professor of anthropology, said he is excited to use the labs and said his students are also looking forward to using them.
He said professors have already had some technical training and will receive more training as the labs get new software.
“It’s going to take some trial and error and testing with students. You can’t just throw a computer in a classroom and expect it to work,” Peterson said. “It’s way beyond just throwing up a Power Point with some words on it and some music.”
Junior Becca Pachlhofer said two of her anthropology classes now have lab days which are held in the new rooms.
“I really like that because the labs are hands-on and more than just sitting in the classroom,” she said.
Suarez also currently teaches in a prototype classroom. The prototype classrooms are equipped with dual projection systems, interactive white boards and huddle boards, which are movable individual display screens.
He said one of his favorite ways to use the prototype technology is to use multiple display screens while writing on the Smart Board.
“I think they appreciate the interactiveness and the things I can do with the different screens,” Suarez said.
Other rooms also have gotten a makeover. Upham 316 and 328 have been updated into computer labs. During the summer of 2011, room 328 became a Mac lab and 316 was made into a PC lab.
First-year Mary Katherine Febus has class in room 328. She said the room is designed with the Macs around the perimeter so professors can see what the students are doing on their screens.
“I think computers are nicer because it’s easier to type than to write it out,” she said.
Tim Reisert, manager of classroom technology services, said along with the innovative technology, 95 percent of Upham Hall classrooms are now equipped with what the university considers “standard technology.” This includes a ceiling mounted projector, a resident computer, laptop inputs, a VCR/DVD player and a document camera.
Information Technology Services have been working to equip Upham and other halls with standard technology since 2004.
“About seven years ago, the Classroom Enhancement Committee began a phased upgrade of all classrooms across campus. We try to upgrade about 10 to 15 percent of classrooms each year,” Reisert said.