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I Can See Clearly Now

Katherine GraysonAnnouncing the participants of the Campus Technology high-resolution projection study.

Not too long ago, the editors of this publication asked educators interested in bringing ultra-high-level projection capability to their college and university classrooms to submit their needs to us (Campus Briefs, November 2006). We offered to donate a brand-new Canon REALiS SX6 multimedia projector to each of four institutions demonstrating both compelling need and intended use for the projectors. We will follow the usage of the projectors in their real-life campus settings, and share with you, our readers, the innovative ways educators and students are making use of the latest in high-tech “smart classroom” equipment.

We are looking, too, for the impact of such technology on learning: Will students have a greater propensity to understand course material if the intricacies of what they see are clearer, sharper, more true-to-life and vivid? Will students be more effectively drawn in to their studies? Will instructors be better able to involve students in study matter with such tools at their disposal?

One hundred and forty-nine institutions responded to our request for submissions, with no end of fascinating proposed uses for the equipment: engineering, CAD, GIS, statistical analysis, software development, even robotics topped the list. Then there were the classes in the sciences (chemistry, biology, geology), accounting, aerial surveying, and art history. And of course we heard from educators in medicine, forensics, culinary arts, and even those instructors using virtual reality teaching modes to impart knowledge in any number of disciplines.

In short, the entries ran the gamut, and came in from schools big and small; privates and publics; community colleges, rural institutions, and HBCUs; well-endowed institutions and those with lean coffers. We were only surprised that we were not inundated by one thousand and forty-nine entries. The judging did not go easy, but in the end we selected four eminently worthy recipients of the Canon projectors, and we introduce those winners to you here: 1) The University of New Orleans College of Engineering, to replace equipment lost in Hurricane Katrina, and allow UNO students greater visual acuity in their GIS studies for ecosystem research, stormwater management studies, and the like; 2) Pomona College (CA), for art faculty clinging to 35mm slide projectors because they are unhappy with the limitations of XGA projection and yet are unable to take full advantage of high-resolution imaging software already in-house; 3) The Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, for the medical students’ micro-lab classroom, the detailed cellular level microscopy work required there, and to replace a microscope/video camera apparatus; and 4) Herkimer County Community College (NY), for use in, among other areas, the school’s forensics classes where high-resolution projection of crime-scene images (fingerprint, hair, skin, and fiber samples, etc.) is desperately needed.

We will be following these schools closely in coming months, to get their unique stories, so stay tuned…

Katherine Grayson, Editor-In-Chief
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