A NEW HIGH-TECH MICROSCOPE WITH A DIGITAL CAMERA AND FLAT SCREEN DISPLAY ARE AMONG THE CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS STUDENTS AT BLUEFIELD COLLEGE ARE ENJOYING THIS FALL.
Lansdell classrooms 101 and 103 were updated with not only constructive renovations, but also new technology, including LED SMART Boards and minicomputers to operate the SMART Board technology. The mini computers, said Steve Kessinger, director of information systems and technology, replaced the “bulky wall cabinets” that were previously used in each room.
“These two boards will be equipped with SMART Technology’s brand new kappIQ modules,” said Kessinger. “This technology will allow us to operate the boards without the computer component, allow contributions from anywhere on any device, and become a testing platform for use cases in future classrooms.”
Students and faculty alike are benefitting from the updates made to the Lansdell Hall classrooms. Professor Wendy Beavers, who also chairs BC’s Information Technology Committee, not only complimented the rooms on their new inviting aesthetics and environment, but also shared many practical ways in which the new technology allows for even greater interaction between students and teachers.
“The new kapp board allows faculty to save a PDF of the information written on the board to preserve that for students and share that with them,” said Beavers. “On a practical level, the LED screens eliminate lighting issues that occur with projector-based screens.”
Along with renovations in Lansdell, BC’s Biology Department also made technological strides. With $10,000 in funding, the department purchased new microscopes, a digital camera for one of the scopes, and a flat panel screen to go with the camera to enhance the teaching and learning experience for students in BC’s Science Center.
“The enhancements — the digital camera on the microscope allows the instructor to demonstrate what the students are to look for on the microscope as a class rather than having to go student by student,” said Dr. Martin Offield, professor of biology. “This has made the microscope classes in general biology and A&P this semester much more informative and easier to manage.”
Students are greatly benefitting from the technology advancements, according to student Isaac Johnson, who is currently using one of the new microscopes for a research project in parasitology.
“I have used these microscopes every week this semester and am still astonished by the clarity of the microorganisms that I am studying,” said Johnson. “One of the microscopes in the Science Center can actually be used to take high definition pictures of microbes. I used this new microscope while assisting in the compilation of a new parasitology picture atlas — none being available. Without this new microscope, this project would not have happened. I am very excited and thankful to Bluefield College for making this new equipment available to the Science Center.”