San Jose, Calif. — Sept. 17
San Jose State University announced it has launched a five-year, $28 million initiative to partner with Cisco and Nexus IS Inc. to upgrade the campus’ information technology infrastructure. Moreover, San Jose State is supporting faculty in using and applying next-generation technologies to better support students’ learning by partnering with corporate neighbors and with other educational efforts such as Harvard-MIT-UC Berkeley’s edX and Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative. SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi outlines the long-term potential for this tech initiative in his white paper, “Reinventing Public Higher Education: A Call to Action.”
“The university sits in a position of real opportunity given the double incentive of recent technological advances coupled with the decline in state support for public education,” Qayoumi said. “Never before in the history of higher education has technology provided such important challenges and opportunities. We must reinvent teaching, learning and educational delivery systems.”
The Next Generation Technology Project reflects SJSU’s strategic plan, Vision 2017, developed after Qayoumi’s 49 town hall meetings with students, faculty and staff who identified five distinct campus priority goals including supporting “unbounded learning,” “21st century learning spaces” and “agility through technology.”
San Jose State selected Cisco and Nexus to upgrade the campus’ infrastructure in accordance with a fully integrated and comprehensive plan designed to improve the learning experience for students. Plans for the first 18-24 months include the following:
- SJSU will develop a total of 51 next-generation learning spaces with all the equipment needed to enable high-definition recording, indexing and transcription of lectures and classroom experiences within the next 18 months.
- SJSU will make Cisco Show and Share and TelePresence available at no cost to all students, faculty and staff within the next 18 months. These services will be fully integrated with audio and video recording equipment in the 51 next-generation learning spaces, providing students with access to classroom experiences, lectures and meetings anytime and anywhere.
- SJSU has brought Cisco WebEx Web conferencing to the campus community. WebEx provides access to live lectures inside the next-generation classrooms and beyond, anytime and anywhere faculty members and students connect using cameras on their own computers.
- SJSU will consolidate phone service from five separate systems into a single Cisco Unified IP Phone system for the entire campus within the next 18 months.
- SJSU will expand its free, secure wireless Internet service, utilizing Cisco wireless products to serve all students, faculty, staff and guests campus-wide.
The goal is not to replace conventional teaching methods, but build on what the school does now to enhance student learning and preparation for the workplace. Numerous studies have shown outcomes improve when instructors and students combine traditional and new teaching methods using the latest technology.
For example, “lecture-capture” software and equipment will allow students to review as many times as needed all aspects of a classroom presentation, including slides and whiteboard notes. This could benefit all students on all topics, but will be especially helpful for challenging classes heavy with complex material or for students who speak English as a second language.
In addition to the IT infrastructure upgrade, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn, along with Associate Vice President for Academic Technology Catheryn Cheal, are leading efforts to employ and assess new teaching methodologies with faculty and other industry leaders such as Adobe to deepen students’ skills with new technology products and services.
Some of the new programs that will be launched this fall for faculty include the following:
- Enhancing students’ use of Adobe Creative Suite software and digital media.
- Innovating learning with Apple products such as iPads, iBooks, iTunesU and iMovie.
- Designing more effective learning experiences for students by creating online, hybrid and flipped (viewing recorded lectures at home so instructors can work with students in class) courses.
- Implementing lecture capture and video conferencing.
- Introducing online student writing support tools such as ETS Criterion.
- Joining with Harvard-MIT-UC Berkeley’s edX initiative and with Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative.
- Tracking and measuring student learning with learning analytics and learning dashboards.
- Utilizing assessment tools such as ETS Major Field Tests and ETS Proficiency Profile to measure student learning outcomes and support institutional reporting.
- Leveraging game-based resources for student learning.
- Making educational materials from the KQED and PBS LearningMedia archive available to faculty and students in partnership with the University Library.
Source: San Jose State University