Reflections on the 2009-2010 School Year

For 2007-8 school year, I listed these instructional technology goals:

  1. Increase the use of Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) among the faculty
  2. Increase the use of distance learning tools (videoconferencing, webconferencing, TWEN, podcasting, webcasting, etc.) as alternatives to in class learning
  3. Increase the use of existing technology in the classrooms (smartboards, document cameras, CPS, lcd projectors, etc.) to enhance student learning and class participation

and at the end of the first semester, updated them – https://albanylawtech.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/revisiting-my-goals/

For the 2008-9 school year, instead of goals, I posted about “What’s New at Albany Law” and repeated this at the beginning of the 2009-10 year.

So as we reflect on the closing school year, both the goals above and the changes we’ve implemented to enhance the integration of technology this year at Albany law School go hand in hand.

  • Digital Signage – These 2 screens were used for important announcements which were submitted by staff and students in the form of PowerPoint slides, Adobe Presenter was used to set up the slideshow.
  • New classroom configurations – W120, E115 & E117 featured new desks and a lectern in the front of the room for the professor
  • Replacement plan for classroom projectors – ALL rooms (except 2) now have multimedia projectors that are less than 2 yrs old. The last 2 rooms will have new projectors installed this summer
  • More blogging – In addition to the 8 active blogs, new blogs have been created this year: the Dean, Constitutionalism & Democracy, The Issue, SBA, ITS
  • More digital video capability and editing – We have used our new Panasonic camcorder, we have become proficient in editing video & audio content using SONY Vegas Pro, we are now able to live stream events using encoder software on a laptop and host the video as flash (www.albanylaw.edu/webstream)
  • Switch from Groupwise to Outlook for e-mail – Most of the staff are using Outlook 2007 for email, the faculty has been using Outlook Web Access but will soon have the Outlook client installed on their laptops.
  • Switch from GWAVA to Postini – Daily quarantine summaries are received by everyone through email
  • New updated user friendly technology for the classrooms- Room 200  Crestron touchpanel (similiar to DAMC) has been well-received & include conference phone ability (it will be duplicated in 209 this summer), the Extron medialink controller on the lectern worked out so well in E115 that it was added to WW, EW, E116, 425,  U200, U201, U214 over Christmas break (and will be added to U343 this summer).
  • Videoconferencing in the Boardroom– The Tandberg Mediaplace  added permanent technology to this room (in addition to  videoconferencing ability), it was used often for PowerPoint presentations
  • Secure Logins for WestLaw & TWEN – All faculty updated their WestLaw ID to the new OnePass sign in(although Westlaw extended the deadline).  TWEN sites were set up for most classes to post class materials as well as password-protected audio recordings.
  • SmartBoard Use – A training  was held for faculty that teach in W120 & E117. It was also recorded. Unfortunately most could not attend and the board has only been used at this point as a screen. Another workshop will be scheduled for next fall.
  • Mobile Multimedia Carts – Two of the carts were used frequently in rooms without any technology such as the Career Center, Conference rooms, Foyer, etc., the 3rd cart was set up permanently in L211 and used by professors who taught in that room.
  • Maintenance Contract for all classroom technology–  at the beginning of each semester, AVSSI (who is familiar with our school’s technology) cleaned and tested all equipment and responded quickly for any needed repairs on the older equipment during the school year.
  • Audio Visual Staff joins ITS – AV support and services were integrated into support for Instructional Technology. They provided both HelpDesk and Digital Video recording/editing assistance.

  1. Web 2.0 – Professors have used TWEN this year for more than just posting documents.  Many classes have used the Forum feature to stimulate dicussions among students.  Some professors have used TWEN’s new wiki ability to foster collaboration among students.
  2. Distance Learning – Professors have posted assignments in TWEN that can be done at home by students and then submitted digitally. Several have posted YouTube videos, narrated PowerPoint slides and audio recordings that students could access outside of class. AdobeConnect was used so that 2 students in DC could attend a Government Ethics orientation. We also webstreamed an on-campus presentation so that students could attend remotely. Skype was used, on occasion, for facilitating a guest presenter to speak in class and for a professor to present to a remote audience. Second semester, Albany Law offered its first completely online class.  TWEN was used exclusively for this course.  The course web site included surveys, project sign-ups, discussions, links, calendar, course materials, wikis, etc. We are currently looking at the student evaluations so we can improve this offering for next year.
  3. Use of Technology – the improvements in the classroom have had a positive  impact on a professor’s use in his/her teaching.  Most professors are bring their laptop to class to display digital content – videos, websites, powerpoint slides, etc.  There has been an increased use of webcams to record student negotiation and client counseling practice sessions.  Students have used these files for self-assessment and to improve their skills.  The legal assistants have been given digital audio recorders to lend to professors so that the professors can record their own classes or review sessions and then upload them to TWEN. Students have been doing PowerPoint presentations for class assignments. Take-home Mid-term and Final Exams have been uploaded anonymously to TWEN instead of sending through email or submitted on paper. There has been generally less printing and less copying and more digital content!!!!

WHAT’S NEXT??? 

  • Windows for everyone! No more Novell.
  • Windows 7 for many 🙂
  • MozyPro (instead of iFolder) for laptop users
  • New laptops for many…SD card slot, built-in webcam and more
  • MS Office 2007 instead of WordPerfect
  • Examsoft for Macs?
  • Lexis Web Courses for some instead of TWEN
  • ALL classrooms have updated controllers on the lectern
  • Webstreaming and digital video capability in DAMC
  • Classcaster.org changes to WordPress.com
  • Smartboard use????
  • Bring back the CPS Clickers???
  • MORE INTEGRATION of TECHNOLOGY INTO TEACHING and LEARNING… (as a tool)
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