As you all probably know, Roseann Anzalone of Adirondack Community College is retiring. I wanted to mine one last bit of gold from her before that final bow, so instead of asking what was on her bench, I asked what single piece of technology has had the greatest impact on her job, in her opinion. Her answer surprised me, but what didn’t surprise me was the insight it showed.
Here it is:
I know this is going to sound nuts but I think the piece of equipment that has had the greatest impact is the webcam. It was a game changer. From my perspective here’s why.
- For schools with smaller budgets it allowed us to offer “distance learning”. It allowed us to expand our campus outreach especially here in the north country where bad weather is a large reason students miss classes.
- If I have a student with an ASO accommodation, that student could dial into class and participate the same as the students who are physically in the room. It also allows the recording of the information going over the internet for use as a remedial tool.
- I can now bring in Guest speakers from all over the world to speak to my students. Experts in any field I’d like. Most will speak to the class with out charging a fee because there is no travel for them.
- Virtual field trips. We did them here for years. We would bring in students from the local schools and connect them to NASA astronauts, marine biologists and a number of other people from across the US. Living where we do these students didn’t realize these options existed for them.
- Better pool of candidates for all positions. Webcams allowed us to bring in candidates with greater backgrounds by allowing first and sometimes second interviews to be completed without paying the expense of bringing candidates to campus. We have had candidates from all over and some we have hired. It has increased the diversity of the staff and the students here.
- For those of us with multiple campuses we could now have meetings on a regular basis with our peers and colleagues on those campuses because we could remove the travel time. This has allowed for better collaboration and those other staff members feel more like they are part of the campus community/
- Webcams allowed me to lessen my downtime in a classroom. I gave staff iPads and when they were in a classroom that they couldn’t fix they would Facetime with me to work through the issue. The web camera allowed me to see the cables so I could quickly instruct them on what to test and swap while working simultaneously with someone else in another classroom.
- Webcams have allowed for greater collaboration among institutions. Since we’ve move to video conferencing for the STC committee I think our ideas have gotten easier to share. It works that way for other groups such as SOC.
We’re going to miss you, Roseann.