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Technology Plan 2004-2007

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Biology

Description
The Biology Department currently has computers in all but one of its laboratories (Room 319). Room 321 and 302 are set up with Macintosh computers and Room 305 has 2 PC computers. All faculty have computers, 5 faculty have iMacs or G3’s and 5 faculty have PC’s. Each of the 3 technicians have computers, 2 PC’s and 1 Mac G3 233mHz. The department has one networked laser printer for all faculty and staff to use. Two faculty have printers in their offices (1 laserjet and 1 laser printer). Rooms 302, 305, and 321 are equipped with projection equipment to project computer images and video tapes.
 
In addition to electronic technologies (computers and peripherals), the Biology department also has specialized models of Anatomy and Physiology classes, and specialized equipment of use in Biotechnology and Physiology laboratories.
 
An objective addressed in last year’s plan was to begin to fund equipment needs for the new Science Lab Building, then scheduled for occupation in Fall, 2005. This schedule has been pushed back about 1 year, with anticipated occupation in either Summer or Fall, 2006. Consequently, this objective has been delayed one year in this plan.
 
Curriculum Impact
Our department anticipates an ever-growing need for updated and additional computer stations. While the current computers are adequate, new machines are necessary to keep pace with the increasing complexity of the web and software, increasing numbers of students, and an increase in faculty wanting to infuse laboratories with computer-assisted instruction. Two examples of this are Room 305, which currently has just 2 PC’s (on of which is a P100), this room serves over 500 students each semester, yet computer assisted instruction is impossible without new equipment. In Room 321, 305 & 302, essential space is occupied by large computing stations, drastically limiting student/student interactions and student/instructor interactions. Space restrictions in these rooms essentially prevent the installation of additional computers. The need to move to smaller wireless laptops systems that are more is essential to the department’s goals for increasing the use of technology in instruction.

Approximate Number of Students Served
The Biology Department serves approximately 1700 students per semester. This represents a theoretical maximum for our department due to severe limitations on lab space and materials. The latter created by a supply budget that has failed to keep up with inflation during the past 20 years. Available lab space will be increased by 50% with the opening of the new Science Lab Building, scheduled for Summer or Fall, 2006.
 
Support Impact
As the number of computers increase, the need for support will increase as well. However, for the most part, this support will be needed only during the initial installation and configuration of new equipment. Since many of our department’s computer compliment is Macintosh, it is essential that Mac-trained support technicians be available in a timely fashion.
 

Year 1 (2004-2005)

Objective
The overall objective for 2003-2004 is updating equipment and technologies to reflect increased needs in computing power, memory, software and hardware upgrades. A part of meeting this objective is to continue converting Room 302 from stationary iMacs to laptops with a wireless hub, and increasing their number so that they can be shared between Rooms 302 and 305. We also need to replace aging microscopes used in Environmental and Marine Biology
As faculty continue to expand their use of technology in the classroom with web- based materials and overall curriculum development, faster computers with more RAM memory is needed. To this end, 3 of our faculty members are requesting computer or peripheral upgrades in the form of faster systems, more RAM and smaller footprint monitors (see particulars in the next section).
 
Action to Meet Objective

  • Purchase 8 more Windows-based laptops equipped with a wireless hub for Rooms 302 and 305 to add to the 4 purchased in 2003-04.
  • Purchase 2 Flat-Panel monitors for faculty used (Craig Milgrim in Room 305B & Michael Golden in Room 304 ). Note: both monitors should be windows- compatible.
  • Purchase one basic faculty PC system for Joe Henry (Room 304). Joe is currently using a Pentium 64 with 8 MB RAM)
     
  • Purchase 20 dissecting and 20 compound microscopes for use in Room 302 (Environmental Biology and Marine Biology).
  • Purchase a PCR machine for Bio 221, in keeping with our Educational Master Plan to increase the amount of Biotech training in majors bio courses.
  • Purchase additional anatomy models and MacLab physiograph peripherals and respirometer for Rm 321.
  • Upgrade 2 computers for biology technicians.
     

Year 2 (2005-2006)

Objective
For 2005-2006 the department has identified 3 objectives

  1. Expand the use of technology in field courses
  2. Prepare to equip two additional biology labs in the new Science Lab Building by purchasing microscopes, computers, other technical and furniture. The complete equipment and furniture list will be available June 1, 2004.
     

Action to Meet Objective

  • Purchase 32 pairs of field binoculars and 16 GPS units.
  • Purchase 8 Windows-based laptops equipped with the necessary hardware and software for wireless web connectivity. Purchase any other necessary equipment for wireless web.
     

Initiate the purchase of equipment for two additional biology laboratories in the new Science Lab Building. This equipment will be needed at the start of Fall semester, 2006, so they are included in the 2005-2006 request. The following list will be adjusted when the final equipment list becomes available.

64 compound microscopes
64 dissecting microscopes
8 spectrophotometers
12 pH meters
12 PC laptops with wireless hub
various anatomy models
balances
telephones
other currently unspecified lab and office furniture and equipment
 

Year 3 (2006-2007)

 UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2006

 

Objective
The primary objective of the department for 2006-2007 is to equip new Biology Lab building and the associated faculty offices by purchasing microscopes, computers, and other technical equipment not funded from the 2005-06 ETC plan and the Biology Building budget. The secondary goals include (1) update older, slower computers for two senior faculty members (including new Department co-chair), (2) equip new faculty with computers, (3) expand department network printing capability, (4) provide a stand-alone Mac-compatible laser printer for new Department Co-Chair

Action to Meet Objective

  1. Complete purchases of equipment needed for new laboratory facilities
    1. Includes expansion of laptop computers by 28 units to bring the total for the department to 32 (the number needed to service two full labs of 32 students (2 students per computer) simultaneously.
      • As of September, 2006, 8 of the requested 28 units are slated for purchase according to ICS.
      • The department purchased, with one-time funds, a 32-space, secured cart for the laptops
    1. A separate, detailed list of materials requested for the new Science Building is available upon request.
      • Purchasing is proceeding.  Classroom A/V equipment (data projectors and overhead projectors) are also being purchased.
    1. Items that are not or may not be covered by the building budget are included in the Biology Departments 2006 ETC plan.
      • Items not covered by the Science Building budget have recently been submitted as Budget Augmentations to the Division Deans.  A full list is available upon request.
  1. Purchase 2 computers with Monitors for 2 senior faculty members including new Department Co-Chair
      • As of September, 2006 these two computers do not appear on any list “to be purchased” nor are they included in the previously referenced Budget Augmentations (see Bullet item under #1b above).  These items have been repeatedly requested through the New Science Building purchasing process.
      • The Biology Department requests that these two items be included in any prioritized list for Tech Block grant monies
  1. Purchase computers for 2 new faculty hires (start dates-July, 2006)
      • 1 faculty member received a roll-over PC from a retiring faculty member
      • 1 faculty member received a new Mac Desktop unit.
  1. Purchase replacement for existing Networked Laser Printer (for use by 9 full-time faculty and adjuncts)
      • The new unit has been purchased and is in use
  1. Purchase 2nd Networked Laser Printer (for use by students in 6 teaching labs)
      • At this time, the department is planning on using its old Network Laser Printer in conjunction with the department’s laptop computers.  It will be mounted on the top of the laptop cart.  All laptops will be configured to print to this unit.
      • In the absence of failure, this unit will serve our needs for the time being.  A new unit will be requested in Year 1 of our 2008-2011 3-year Tech Plan
  1. Purchase stand-alone Mac-compatible Laser printer for Department chair
      • This item is in the Objectives but was inadvertently left off the Action Plan (see bold-faced (4) in the Objective section at the beginning of the plan)
      • As a result, the unit has not been purchased.  The Biology Department asks that this unit be purchased as soon as possible

 

 


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