In 2015, former library dean purchased two large touch-screen monitors (I believe paid $3000 each). Shortly before that, I had offered to the campus fitting applications for touch screens (being that large screens or mobiles):
- Zaption : http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=zaption (unfortunately, discontinued, but EdPuzzle or HapYak or H5P can replace it: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/07/22/zaption-is-zapped/ )
- Thinglink : http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=thinglink
Both applications fit perfect the idea of interactivity in teaching (and learning) – http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=interactivity
With the large touch screens, I proposed to have one of the large screens, positioned outside in the Miller Center lobby and used as a dummy terminal (50” + screens run around $700) to mount educational material (e.g. Guenter Grass’s celebration of his work: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/15/gunter-grass-1927-2015/ ) and have students explore by actively engaging, rather than just passively absorbing information. The bus-awaiting students are excellent potential users and they visibly are NOT engaged by by the currently broadcasted information on these screens, but can be potentially engaged if such information is restructured in interactive content.
The initial library administration approval was stalled by a concern with students “opening porno sites” while the library is closed which, indeed, would have been a problem.
My 2015 inquiry with the IT technicians about freezing a browser and a specific tab, which could prevent such issues, but it did not go far (pls see solution below). Failing to secure relatively frigid environment on the touch screen, the project was quietly left to rot.
I am renewing my proposal to consider the rather expensive touch screen monitors, which have been not utilized to their potential, and test my idea to engage students in a meaningful knowledge-building by using these applications to either create content or engage with content created by others.
Further, I am proposing that I investigate with campus faculty the possibility to bring the endeavor a step further by having a regularly-meeting group to develop engaging content using these and similar apps; for their own classes or any other [campus-related] activities. The incentive can be some reward, after users and creators “vote” the best (semester? Academic year?) project. The less conspicuous benefit will be the exposure of faculty to modern technology; some of the faculty are still abiding by lecturing style, other faculty, who seek interactivity are engulfed in the “smart board” fiction. Engaging the faculty in the touch screen creation of teaching materials will allow them to expand the practice to their and their students’ mobile devices. The benefit for the library will be the “hub” of activities, where faculty can learn from each other experience[s] in the library, rather than in their own departments/school only. The reward will be an incentive from the upper administration (document to attach in PDR?). I will need both your involvement/support. Tom Hergert by helping me rally faculty interest and the administrators incentivizing faculty to participate in the initial project, until it gains momentum and recognition.
In the same fashion, as part of the aforementioned group or separate, I would like to host a regularly-meeting group of students, who besides play and entertainment, aim the same process of creating interactive learning materials for their classes/projects. Same “best voted” process by peers. My preferable reward: upper administration is leaving recommendation in the students’ Linkedin account for future employers. I will need both your involvement/support. The student union can be decisive in bringing students to this endeavor. Both of you have more cloud with the student union then only a regular faculty such as me.
In regard to the security (porn alert, see above) I have the agreement of Dr. Tirthankar Ghos with the IS Department. Dr. Ghosh will be most pleased to announce as a class project the provision of a secure environment for the touch screen monitor to be left after the group meetings for “use” by students in the library. Dr. Ghosh is, however, concerned/uncertain with the level of cooperation from IT, considering that for his students to enable such environment, they have to have the “right” access; namely behind firewalls, administrative privileges etc. Each of you will definitely be more persuasive with Phil Thorson convincing him in the merit of having IS student work with SCSU IT technician, since it is a win-win situation: the IT technician does not have to “waste time” (as in 2015) and resolve an issue and the IS student will be having a project-based, real-life learning experience by enabling the project under the supervision of the IT technician. Besides: a. student-centered, project-based learning; b. IT technician time saved, we also aim c. no silos / collaborative SCSU working environment, as promised by the reorganization process.