Summary from iLevel Advisory Committee Meeting - August 7, 2002
Summary from iLevel Advisory Committee Meeting - August 7, 2002
1) iSmart Rooms
In an attempt to make best use of grant funds remaining at the end of Year 2, the iLevel Team decided to install as many iSmart classrooms as possible on the McNichols campus. The team discussed a variety of classrooms with the potential for “iSmart transformation” (addition of a projector and possibly instructor workstation). Room recommendations were made by the deans of each college, and by faculty members. The committee decided to proceed with the following iSmart implementations:
- -Engineering 131. This is a conference/seminar room with high traffic. A solid projection system is required to replace the ones that get carted in on a frequent basis. iLevel will supply it with a ceiling-mounted projector (includes wiring) and an I/O port where laptops and other equipment can be hooked up to the projector.
- -Ford Life Sciences 115. This is a large auditorium-style classroom that will see a great increase in traffic after the consolidation of campuses. The room is used by a variety of Colleges at UDM. iLevel will provide funding for a ceiling-mounted projector (includes wiring) and an I/O port. With funds from Year 3 of the grant (in which LS is designated for an iSmart room), a workstation, VCR, etc. can be added to the configuration.
- -Architecture Exhibit Space. This room is currently under construction, but Dean Vogel has requested funds to complete his plan for a state-of-the-art projection system. Per his request, iLevel will fund the purchase of a Smart Sympodium, which will enhance the presentation system.
- -Briggs 110. The committee agreed to supply funding for a ceiling-mounted projector in this new multidisciplinary, multimedia lab. There is a great need to improve resources in Briggs as Education moves into the building this fall.
- -Briggs 210. Pending available funds, the committee approved the installation of a ceiling-mounted projector and workstation in this classroom that seats 50+ students and serves a variety of depts. This installation may have to wait until Year 3 of the grant.
There was a general discussion about support issues as these new ismart classrooms are installed. Each college needs to look at their IT support resources and agree on who is going to take care of equipment in the new rooms. This must be worked out as the installations are proceeding.
Sarah Swart noted that we must provide additional education for everyone using these resources. IDS must play a key role in this initiative.
Emmy Yousey suggested that Student Tech Mentors could be assigned to sit in on a class with an instructor who is teaching for the first time in an iSmart room. The danger is that the instructor will rely too heavily on the Mentor and will not actually learn the ropes him/herself. One possibility would be for the Tech Mentors to check classroom schedules and contact instructors before the semester begins to invite them on an iSmart orientation. The Mentor would then stay in contact with the instructor over the course of the term and provide e-mail support.
3) iLevel Exam
There was some talk about legitimating the iLevel Exam. Marcel O’Gorman noted that Dr. Jeff Rice, the new Director of Writing in the English Dept. has show great interest in the exam, and would like to make it mandatory for students in ENL 130/131. This will pave the way for including the exam in the core curriculum. Additional details will be provided at the next meeting.
The iLevel Team agreed that another good use for rollover funds would be to install computer kiosks that students could access in high-traffic areas. After conducting a site survey with administrators of the Student Union, some key locations were mapped out. The committee decided to install 2 or 3 kiosks in the main lounge area of the Union, and an additional kiosk or two in the games room. Pending funding, a kiosk could also be installed in the dining area and in the International Students lounge area.
Dina Dubuis suggested that we have a kiosk design contest to spark student interest in iLevel activities. However, given our time constraints, this would be extremely difficult. Instead, we will get quotes from the university’s furniture providers, and seek out an affordable, attractive and secure configuration for the kiosks.
Marcel O’Gorman raised the possibility of allowing students to check out laptops in the games room area at the mail desk. Laptops could be checked out like library books by students who provide appropriate ID. Additional security would be provided by the multiple security cameras in the area. This idea was dismissed because of security issues. However, brainstorming about ways to increase students’ access to computers should be continued. The possibility of loaning out laptops to individual students requires further examination. Other suggestions include putting computers in dorm rooms or allowing students in dorms to check out laptops (Dina Dubuis).
Dina noted that even if we allow students to take laptops home (i.e., via a computer initiative), they will still have to pay for an ISP.
5) Local Heroes
Sarah Swart noted that it’s time to put the new Local Heroes plan in place. Marcel O’Gorman will contact Local Heroes and inform them of the change. Then he will ask Deans to recommend new Heroes.
The committee agreed that the iGrants would work best if we allocate 10K for laptops to be used in a summer laptop institute. Also, the iGrants will be limited to $1,000. The hope is that colleges/depts. will pitch in additional funds for requests that go beyond 1K.
It was suggested that if colleges are willing to purchase laptops for faculty, they should be accepted into the summer workshop as well, given space. A cap will have to be set on workshop attendance.
6) Other Issues
Tom Jeffrey suggested that we could be more visionary with our current IT implementation plan. He calls for a more aggressive push to get laptops into the hands of all students, and create a ubiquitous computing environment on the McNichols campus. He would like to see UDM as a high-tech mecca. Most of the committee agrees, but the problem is that we do not have the authorization to make such a sweeping decision. That being said, who is responsible for such a position? The iLevel Team needs to stay in close contact with the incoming Exective Director of IT to create an implementable IT vision for UDM.