On Thursday, September 04, my class and I visited the Cyberinfrastructure Building (CIB). This building is a technology leader and has created a space that allows the exploration of new technology. It has an area with all the latest technology. They have Google glasses, Oculus Rift, motion sensor plug-ins, and much, much more. In this area, as well as the rest of the building, the technology is open to the public.
Two of my favorite pieces of technology are the main focal points of the building. The first one is a spherehanging from the ceiling when you first walk into the building through the main entrance. This sphere is an interactive video screen. Four projectors are hung in such a way that the surface of the sphere is covered in a cohesive image that can be spun around and moved all over the sphere. One of the many ways it was used was during a Science Olympiad visit about plate tectonics. They had projected the Earth onto the sphere and used it to show Pangea and the plates moving to where they are present day. The kids got to control the images and got very into learning about plate tectonics with the interactive video.
The second focal point of the building is the enormous computer screen. It is composed of 24 TV screens that all work as a single monitor. It has a very high resolution, allowing you to zoom into and manipulate the images displayed on the screens. This space can be used by any Indiana University student, staff, or faculty member as long as they have a university login ID. This extra-large computer can also be used during events including the Science Olympiad plate tectonic event.
This trip inspired me to facilitate change in schools because of the innovative ways the CIB uses its technology. Our tour guide told us that the students that come in are so engrossed and engaged with the technology used in the activity that they forget they are learning. The task no longer seems like just another school assignment, but more of an investigation. This is want I want to bring into my classroom and my school. It is very important to foster a love of learning into students. This will help them at every level of education and in everyday life. It is very important for students to be interested in the lesson. The best way to do that is create an exciting activity. It isn’t feasible to make every single lesson every single day seem exciting. One way to do this might be through technology. It’s something students are interested in and familiar with.
I want to be able to help a school change to technology integrated classrooms. I feel that this would be a way to keep students engaged in topics that may not interest them. I know this change doesn’t come easily or cheaply. In order to be an effective facilitator, I will need to learn to write convincing grants and talk to other faculty members to gain support. I do feel that it’s a worthy cause to help students get excited about their education.