Adam Davi & Mary Beth Foster
A New Twist on Technology in the CRL
At the University of Arizona, access to technology has never been easier. The SALT Center is continuously exploring new ways to make use of technologies that may benefit students with learning and attention challenges, and you can find those technologies in our Computer Resource Lab (CRL).
Based on the recommendation of TILT (Technology Integration for Learning Task Force), a SALT Center committee dedicated to evaluating educational technology and making recommendations for optimizing its use, we are excited to announce some big changes in both the staffing and the layout of the CRL. Key contributors to TILT included staff members Mary Beth Foster, Adam Davi, Joy Jerauld, and Krisanne Ryther; graduate assistant Dorothy Hayden; and students Evan Greer, and Mimi Shocksnider.
First and foremost, we created a position dedicated to keeping the SALT Center on the cutting edge of new technology. Mary Beth Foster is our first Educational Technology Coordinator, and she has assembled a team of student Technology Consultants to help the CRL run more efficiently.
Our new workstations will include large, open spaces where students can use their own technology collaboratively or independently.
As a former Learning Specialist, Mary Beth is an excellent resource for students, SALT staff, and faculty for innovations in learning support and engagement.
Her Technology Consultants include William Endicott, Evan Greer, and Jeremy Jalnos. Together, they work to explore new initiatives and provide support to students with assistive technology, software, course tools, and learning and organizational apps.
As seniors at the UA who utilize SALT center services, the Technology Consultants have many strategies and tips to offer students, as well as a wealth of experience with programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking and Kurzweil. Consultants are available in our 18-station computer lab for drop-in assistance or individual appointments, and they will also present workshop demonstrations and pioneer the development of emerging technology projects.
Students who utilize SALT Center services have access not only to tried-and-true assistive technology hardware and software (such as Dragon, Kurzweil, and Inspiration), they also get to experience emerging technologies like tablets and mobile apps. Our Computer Resource Lab (CRL) houses the most cutting-edge assistive technology available in order to enhance the learning experience for our students.
These new faces aren’t the only changes coming to the CRL - because more and more students enter college equipped with laptops and tablets, we are giving our Computer Resource Lab a makeover by adding an E-scape Lounge, which will serve as a study area and “learning sandbox.” The Lounge will soon be furnished with comfortable seating and workstations to accommodate students who bring their own technology. It will feature tablet seating, moveable furniture, and a portable partition for those who want to set their study space apart from distractions. Some other exciting new features of the CRL will be the addition of iPads, as well as Windows 8 and Android tablets. PRINCIPLE 8 Facilitating solutions is a critical part of the learning process. We explore solutions with you as you confront challenges.
We want to give students an opportunity to discover and explore educational apps with our Technology Consultants across multiple platforms. We are also planning to install extended desktop stations, which will allow students to connect their laptops to large monitors for group collaboration.
Future improvements of the SALT Center will ensure that our students have the most current and effective tools for learning. We are exploring other additions, such as Mediascape collaborative workstations, interactive white-boards, table-top touch screens and large LED displays. We look forward to expanding the use of educational technology in both the physical and virtual landscape of the SALT Center.
GOING GREEN: SALT Center ONLINE APPLICATION
The SALT Center online application is now linked to the University of Arizona online undergraduate application! Applying has never been easier: simply complete the form, upload documentation of your learning challenge, and pay by credit card.