Out of date? Let’s update our classrooms

If you’ve ever taken a math or statistics class at Pierce, chances are you took it in one of the modest, low-tech classrooms on campus.

But in an age where interactive and smart technologies are becoming more and more popular, some teachers are feeling left-out because their classrooms are not up-to-date with modern technology.

“Math, statistics, psychology — there are a whole bunch of disciplines who have no technologies in the classroom at all,” said Psychology and Statistics Professor Jennifer Moses.

Moses is referring specifically to the 1300, 1400 and 1500 buildings (Behavior Sciences, Math, Computer Sciences), whose only ‘technology’ involves lighting and air-conditioning. IT Coordinator and Spanish Professor Fernando Oleas shares Moses’ sentiments.

“All those buildings in the math area lack technology,” Oleas said. “We need better technology that is sufficient for teaching our students.”

Oleas described the classrooms as being outdated, and they are in need of an update.

And while the administration does agree with Oleas, there is still a debate over which technological products to buy for the classrooms.

In order to solve this dilemma, Oleas has put together two ‘demo rooms.’ The demo rooms will be located at 1301 on Tuesday and at 1402 on Thursday. Each roommate m will feature two different devices that faculty will be able to experiment with.

“One is an interactive board called Mondopad,” Oleas said. “The other one is like a smart TV but it can connect to the internet. It functions like a smartboard.”

The goal of this demo room is for faculty to decide which technology they think is best suited for their classrooms. Faculty members can interact with the different types of technology and experience first-hand how it works. This demonstration will help faculty and staff decide whether they prefer the Mondopad or smart TV.

“We want to see what works best,” Oleas said. “I will be collecting feedback. We as faculty will make a collective decision as to what is necessary for us to use.”

Oleas says that he hopes they will come to a decision within the next two weeks. After that, all that remains is to order the products and install them.

“We definitely need technology in the classroom,” Moses said, referring to her own statistics class. “Any technology would be great.”

The updated classrooms seem like a necessary improvement for Pierce, seeing as how the enrollment numbers have been climbing the past semesters.

“We have good news for enrollment,” said Interim President Larry Buckley. “We are 101 percent of where we were last year in terms of headcount. We are several hundred more than we were a year ago.”

“By the end of this semester, hopefully, we have the technology that we need,” Oleas said.