Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Technology Center’s first year exceeds expectations
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
|Students use the Student Technology Center to work on class projects, learn about hardware and software and bring technology into different parts of their lives.|
Nearly 40,000 students visited the Student Technology Center this year to get help on class projects, take technology workshops, borrow digital camera equipment and use the software offered in the lab. The student use of the center was more than ten times greater than anticipated. With the first academic year under its belt, the STC is now looking for ways to enhance itself for the coming years.
The STC, which opened Aug. 31, 2005, offers students the opportunity to learn how to incorporate technology into their lives.
According to Brandon Bernier, systems specialist, through classroom presentations, direct marketing to faculty, word of mouth and advertising in the residence halls, the STC was able to introduce students to the services and keep them coming back.
“Our philosophy is that we will teach you how to do it, but we won’t do your homework for you,” said Bernier. “We are seeing that students want to learn how to transcend technology into different classes and into their lives. That is important for us to see.”
Students can take advantage of student mentors and group workshops that teach Windows XP, OS X, the iLife Series, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premier Elements, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Scanners, CD and DVD burners, fee-based color printers and technology reference books are available for student use. In addition, students may borrow digital still and movie cameras from the STC for 48 hours. Students responded to the equipment that was available, using it for classroom presentations, GrizzDance entries and personal use.
“The year went so far beyond expectations. We ended up having 1,300 equipment loans, and the initial estimates for those were 500-600,” said Bernier.
According to Bernier, the STC just ordered an additional five digital camcorders and six digital still cameras, brining the total to 20 and 21 respectively, to provide students with more for next year.
The STC has 11 PCs and four Macintosh computers for student use and Bernier said he was pleased that students didn’t flinch at the idea of using a Mac, which isn’t always an environment they are comfortable with.
“The students who came to the STC really had a willingness to learn new things and even learn them on a Mac,” said Bernier.
Staffed by one full-time, two part-time and five student employees, the STC provides a place for students to learn from their peers and also a place for student employees to learn about skills they need for the future.
Adrian Parish, a junior management information systems major and lead STC mentor, plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in student affairs after he graduates next year.
“I’m gaining a lot of experience working with students and it is helping me prepare for my future,” said Parish.
Parish, who is the primary instructor of workshops at the STC, said he has also learned what it takes to be a good instructor and help students learn.
While the STC is closed for the spring and summer semesters, Bernier will be busy researching new equipment and determining what hardware, software and workshops will be beneficial to students.
“We really want to give students the opportunity to grow and that means providing cutting-edge equipment and the ability to teach it to them,” said Bernier.
For more information on OU’s Student Technology Center, including equipment and services offered, visit the STC Web site.