any campaign looking to the future, such as Pitt-Bradford’s 50 and BeyondCampaign launched last year, technology is a natural priority.
The ubiquity of technology has made
it a natural part of today’s environment for students, who watch lectures,
review and take notes, interact with experts and students from across the
world, socialize, shop, compare notes, watch TV and play games all from the
convenience of a wireless campus network.
Demands on campus infrastructure are
always increasing as students now come to school with two, three or four
wireless devices instead of a single desktop as they did five or 10 years ago,
explained Don Lewicki, director of computing, telecommunications and mediaservices.
The money required for constant
infrastructure upgrades means that some other technology items are being left
off of the campus’s wish list. The 50 and Beyond campaign has set as a goal
adding $550,000 to Pitt-Bradford’s technology endowment.
“There’s a lot of neat stuff out
there that we could do,” said Bernie Picklo, the campus’s academic technology
integrator, who helps faculty with technological needs from videoconferencing
with a class of students at American University in Cairo to installing
interactive whiteboards for education students to use just as they will when
Members of the faculty have embraced
technology and use it to record lectures and help students manage assignments.
The criminal justice program will
soon be using body cameras just as law enforcement officers do in the field.
The new cameras and microphones will also allow an instructor to provide
instant feedback or guidance to students as they investigate a crime scene.
Another use of technology is to
support an increase in online courses, which are more convenient for professors
and students during the summer, when weather makes it hard to get to campus in
the winter, or for professionals earning their degree while working.
“Technology does not replace good
teaching, it merely enhances it,” Picklo said. Technology is driving new
pedagogical practices such as “flipping the classroom,” in which students watch
lectures outside of class and use class time to discuss the material, take part
in group exercises, take quizzes or use what they’ve learned to interview a
“guest” who could be half a world away.
In the future, the Internet will
allow students to research using materials from a worldwide knowledge bank, not
just the collection amassed by their own institutions. E-textbooks have the
potential to provide material in more ways so that it can be used better by
students of all learning styles.
At the very least, all of these technologies
will take an increase in infrastructure – high-speed, high-capacity cables and
wireless technology, which, unfortunately, won’t be coming at a low price.
To find out how you can help make
state-of-the-art technology available at Pitt-Bradford through a contribution
to the technology endowment, contact Jill Ballard, executive director of
institutional advancement, at (814)362-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.