Faculty should utilize tech class

With more than 180 rooms equipped with technology – 152 of them with computers – this tech savvy university should urge professors to take on the role of a student.According to its Web site, Technology Resources offers free training sessions for faculty and staff, teaching the basics of programs such as Microsoft Office. The Center for Instructional Services offers sessions on classroom support, said Kerrie Conover, instructional design assistant for the Koehler Center. And, Conover said, the Koehler Centers gives presentations for using tools like eCollege and Photoshop.

With all the resources available to faculty members, there’s no excuse for technological ignorance. Wasting the first 10 minutes of class time trying to feel through presentation technology is unprofessional. Faculty members should learn the ins and outs of campus technology before stepping foot into the classroom.

Larry Kitchens, director of Instructional Services, said a large percentage of faculty members use the available technology in the classrooms. However, he said, the number of faculty members who utilize the free training sessions is low.

Kitchens said that over a period of about seven years, TCU has been placing presentation and computer technology in classrooms and faculty members have been getting used to it. He also said those who aren’t as familiar with the technology can refer to the printed instructions in the classroom or on the Web site and call the center if they have questions.

Nevertheless, some professors and instructors need a little extra help, such as the one-on-one formal training sessions the center offers at the beginning of each semester.

“We encourage it, but it’s up to the faculty members to schedule the session if they feel they need it,” Kitchens said.

Though training sessions should not necessarily be mandatory, faculty members should take their own advice and earn an education that fits the developing technological trends.

Even faculty members who have been trained in the past might need a refresher course. And those who feel they have a handle on classroom technology should, by all means, pass it on.

News editor Lindsey Bever for the editorial board.