Tech Fair hums at Marian Hall

By Gayla Hinds

LOGOS STAFF WRITER

The six-hour 2014 Tech Fair appeared to draw more students, staffers and faculty than ever before April 9 in Marian Hall Student Center.

Ana Gonzalez, director of instructional technology, said  she was happy with the number of students, about 115, who came to hear a keynote speech.

The purpose of the Tech Fair is to showcase different types of technology represented by the many vendors that work and partner with UIW, she said.

“Everyone was invited,” she said. “We don’t target any particular group.”

Several vendors representing various forms of technology had displays in Marian Hall. Lumens showcased its document cameras for classroom overhead projection and gave hands-on demonstrations of the products. There were vendors representing Blackboard, the university’s online faculty/student course management system, and Dell Computers, who brought ready-to-travel projectors. Visionality displayed its videoconferencing and audiovisual products. Bodyviz had a techno-savvy experience for anyone interested in learning about the human body. Its virtual cadaver lab experience is unique in giving people the feel of actually being in an operating room exploring the anatomy of lifelike patients. Apogee representatives talked about  their expertise in providing Internet services for residence halls, including making “dorm calls” within 24-48 hours when the Internet goes down. Cengage showcased their “Mindtap” application that allows students to access multiple forms of course material in a single application.

In the lounge area, Dr. Joseph Lopez, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts, talked about how convergent media at UIW facilitates the creation of a space that allows students to flourish in theory, technology and practice. He showcased a lot of the equipment the department is using such as new interactive tools that are still being developed and refined. The body’s electrochemistry interacts with the equipment to provide a more synchronized experience. Lopez said he plans to use these tools for a couple of projects at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Other departments that were represented in the lounge area to showcase their latest technology were Animation, Gaming Design, Graphic Design, Financial Aid, and the Registrar’s Office.

There were a lot of goodies given out at the fair including “swag bags,” free T-shirts, raffle tickets for door prizes, and gift cards donated by various vendors. And there was free food until it ran out.

The Tech Fair “is an opportunity to engage the university in the role of technology in order to support the teaching and learning communities here at the school,” said Dan Duffy, vice president for information resources. “Since I have only been at Incarnate Word since January, I have understood and seen that there has been tremendous growth of technology use and a deep integration of technology into the teaching and learning environments here, but there are still areas that are in need of advancement and growth.”

 

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