Information Technology maintains a small selection of innovative hardware and software that faculty, staff, and students may borrow. This equipment has not yet been deployed generally across campus. If you’d like to explore some of this equipment, simply send an e-mail to the Help Desk. For more information, visit the “Checking out Equipment” wiki page.
The iPad is a tablet-style wireless computing device which is like a large iPhone in design and function (minus the phone features). With a nearly 10″ screen, multi-touch display and the ability to run applications like an iPhone, the iPad has potential to greatly impact teaching and learning. iPads allow quick internet browsing, viewing photos and movies, listening to podcasts and music, reading e-books, and interacting with content from any of the hundreds of iPad applications (and more are created each day). If you would like to borrow an iPad loaded for one week to explore, send an e-mail to the Help Desk. *please note that our loaner iPads are equipped with wi-fi only and not 3G access.
Amazon’s Kindle device is the newest entrant in the newest generation of e-book readers which use the “E Ink” display technology. These new “virtual ink” monochrome displays are intended to mimic the look and clarity of type on a printed page and form a basis for portable devices focused mainly on reading books and documents, rather than being an added function to a general use laptop, cellphone or handheld computer. Books, magazines, newspapers and blogs can be selected for the Kindle through Amazon’s website or from the Kindle itself, and are automatically sent to the Kindle using the device’s free built-in cell-phone-based wireless capability. The Kindle only reads Kindle-formatted texts, but documents in other formats (such as PDFs or Word documents) can be converted to Kindle format and sent to the device easily. Although Kindle is designed for text reading, one can also use it to play Audible-format audio books. The Kindle also touts annotation capability (readers can add bookmarks and notes to pages), and a rudimentary web browser.
Clickers (Personal Response System)
These devices are commonly referred to as “Clickers.” Each student in the class gets a small keypad which allows them to respond to questions posed by the instructor. Their responses are collected by software on the instructor’s computer and the data can be saved for later analysis. The student responses are also displayed as soon as the polling time has expired allowing the instructor to see if further discussion is required or if the class can move to a new topic.
The Flip Mini Camcorder is exactly what it sounds like: a mini camcorder! One of the joys of the Flip is that it’s incredibly simplistic. Video is uploaded through a USB connection built into the camera. No wires, no fuss! Helpful for small projects or interviews, the Flip is a helpful tool in the recording of digital media for use in programs such as iMovie and Final Cut Express. Small enough to fit in a purse or pocket, the Flip has the portability of an iPhone or iPod Touch, but packs quite the punch when it comes to recording. Available in both HD and Regular Video outputs, and can export media files in Quicktime (.mov) or Windows Media Player (.wmv) files.
Maybe you’re interested in recording some music, or want to try creating some music to put into your presentations. We’ve also have USB Keyboards with a full range of 49 adaptable keys for working with Garageband or Audacity. We also have a fully functional recording booth, which houses a ‘Snowball’ microphone and recording software.
We can usually loan out equipment for up to a two week period, and have a wide variety of technology at our disposal. Whatever your interest might be, Instructional Technology is here to help your technology dreams become a reality in the classroom.