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Technology Plan 2004-2007

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Political Economy

Description
Our department is well situated that this time. Our primary rooms (575, 577, 578, and 579) all have data projectors, computers, conventional televisions, and the old style overhead projectors.  Maintenance of the equipment seems to up to par except in room 575. The equipment in that room seems to be VERY old and the sound system which is essential in that large room is unreliable at best. The folks in audio-visual are continually tweaking it, but since the problems are intermittent it is very hard to fix permanently.
 
Over the next three years we plan to gradually increase our use of existing equipment as the need arises and our faculty becomes more familiar with it. We would like to have document cameras added to the rooms, as the nature of both political science and economics leads us to frequently use current newspaper and magazine articles in classroom discussions. Document cameras are well suited to this purpose. Also, we like to have the Classroom Performance System (CPS) available in room 575 as soon as possible, and in the other rooms as funds become available. The system is wonderful in getting immediate feedback from individual students in large class settings and also is an excellent and unobtrusive way to take attendance. McGraw-Hill publishers will loan us the equipment without charge and students will buy their own clickers when they buy their textbooks. The school would have to provide secure storage space and occasional maintenance of the system.   As funds become available, we would like all of our classrooms equipped with this frontier technology.
 
Curriculum Impact
The described technology will not of course change WHAT we teach as much as it will change HOW we teach it. The CPS system will free time up from manual attendance taking, and also allow daily interactive testing without the costly and time consuming use and distribution of paper. The system will further free us  from much of the labor intensive tasks of entering quiz scores into a computer. An added benefit is in the improved accuracy or recording grades that will flow from use of CPS.
The document camera will be a great help in bring current material into the classroom in a timely manner. How often we have decided NOT to introduce an article in class because of the effort, cost and environment impact of having it printed up. How nice it will be to be able to say I just got this from the morning paper. It is quite obvious that our courses will be enriched and made more relevant with this technology.

Approximate Number of Students Served
We serve about 2000 students per semester and we anticipate that our enrollment growth will be somewhat more than the growth of the college. We have been adding from 3 to 5% per year as of late.
 
 
Support Impact
Other than the initial installation, routine maintenance is all we will need.

Year 1 (2004-2005)

Objective
The first phase would be getting Room 575 upgraded and the CPS system installed. It is important to get this done as soon as possible since our decision to adopt textbooks for the fall hinges on having this technology. In addition, the expense of this improvement is minimal and is very cost effective since our department has room 575 three times per week for a total of 460 students.
 
The next phase (if it can not be accomplished in the first phase would be get a document camera in room 577 and then 578.
 
The next step would be to introduce the CPS in all of the classrooms mentioned plus room 542 which we use each semester. As funds become available, having a document camera installed in the other rooms would be appreciated.
 
Action to Meet Objective
Actions are described above. As mentioned, support after installation would be limited to routine maintenance.

Year 2 (2005-2006)

Objective
With the exception of the document cameras, our requests do not involve extensive outlays so we have not divided up our requests year by year. You have our full permission to do all of the above in the next 20 minutes. If this is accomplished we will put you in for a raise. Please bear in mind however, that in the past our requests for raises for people we like have uniformly been rejected. It seems that our pulling power around here is next to none. Please know though, that we are wonderful people and we have your interests at heart.
 
Action to Meet Objective
These are outlined above.

Year 3 (2006-2007)

Objective
As written above.
 
Action to Meet Objective
As written above.
 

 


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