Getting Techie with IT

On November 3, Information Technology Services (ITS) took you to techie town with Pace’s first-ever Tech Expo. The event featured vendors showcasing their newest wares in higher education technology and faculty demonstrations of how they integrate technology into the classroom and curriculum. The event’s planners hope this will become an annual event and help put Pace on the map as a place for early adopters of innovative technology in higher ed.

Tech Expo

One of the main goals of this expo was to highlight how the technology from these vendors can impact the learning and teaching process in higher education,” says Gabe Moreno, a supervisor in the User Services Department of ITS. “Think about how the iPad has taken hold and how people use it—the capabilities it has, how portable devices such as smart phones are changing how we learn. A lot of schools are looking at making the classroom and learning process a more portable process now.”

The event included a showcase, vendor seminars, faculty seminars, as well as opportunities for hands-on testing of some of the newest tech toys as well as giveaways and raffles. Vendors included Apple, Dell, HP, Crestron (who helped with Pace’s newly remodeled IT-friendly classrooms), Microsoft, AT&T, and Google. Seminars led by Pace faculty included information on the interdisciplinary application of technology in the classroom. Leinhard Professor Elizabeth Berro spoke on the use of high-tech patient stimulators in the clinical setting. Also presenting at the expo was Matt Ganis, adjunct professor of computer science and astronomy, whose seminar focused on the use of SecondLife as a learning tool in higher education.

Among the most well attended seminars were Apple’s iPad presentation and Google’s Apps for Education. “We just moved all our students to Google,” points out Shikha Bajracharya, manager of User Services “[Google’s presentation was] a great chance to communicate with students.” Also presenting was Echo 360, which was software ITS piloted last year that allows faculty to capture audio and PowerPoint presentations, so a professor can give a lecture and post it on Blackboard for students to review. “We got a good response from the pilot program, so we now offer it in all our classrooms and some of the bigger lecture halls also capture video,” Bajracharya says.

The Tech Expo took place in the Student Union and was open to everyone in the Pace Community—students, faculty, and staff —as well as high school students and other universities in the New York City and Westchester areas.“We’re hoping it will become an annual,” says Bajracharya. “It’s a great way to get Pace’s name out there, and get high schools and other schools involved to expand our network.”

“While you may have tech expos, we noticed there isn’t anything devoted to higher education around here,” says Moreno. Bajracharya and Moreno, along with Colin Harris of User Services, are part of a committee that helped pull this event together. In addition to doing research on vendors and other tech expos, they also worked with Ithaca College, which has been running a similar event for almost 20 years.

For more details on the event, including video footage of faculty and vendor seminars, visit the Pace Tech Expo 2010 website at: www.pace.edu/pacetechexpo.