Transforming Learning

Students work together to solve a math problem in the new classroom on the second floor of Ferrante Hall.

The classroom of the future has arrived on the Onondaga Community College campus. What used to be known as simply room “F266” in Ferrante Hall is now filled with bright colors, shiny metal and the latest in instructional technology which incorporates multiple disciplines. “I like the environment. It’s definitely more inviting and it’s easier to follow what the professor is teaching,” said Cassy Conklin, a student from Crest High School in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.

Conklin is enrolled in Professor Jason Furney’s Intermediate Algebra class. He’s one of the first faculty members to have the opportunity to teach in the new classroom. “I love the technology. The technology in here encourages more group work,” said Furney.

 

Professor Jason Furney writes out a math problem on a Microsoft Whiteboard in the new classroom in Ferrante Hall.

The technology includes:

  • Two electronic, interactive Microsoft Whiteboards which can be fully matrixed with 7 other monitors in the classroom.
  • AirMedia which allows a laptop to be wirelessly connected to the network of monitors.
  • Glass boards instead of standard dry erase boards.
  • Four pan, tilt, zoom cameras mounted to the ceiling along with multiple microphones which can be used for web conferencing.
  • Assistive Listening.
  • A document camera in the ceiling.

There is also a smaller room in the front for emerging technologies which can accommodate multiple work stations. The windows contain electrified glass which can be used to transform them from translucent to opaque, allowing both the smaller room and the large classroom to be used simultaneously without distracting others.

In future semesters the new space will be used primarily by the sciences. Furney’s Intermediate Algebra students are loving the first semester in it. “This is much better than just sitting in a classroom and listening to someone speak. The technology gets you involved in your own learning,” said Emily Biggs who came to OCC from East Bay Senior High School in Tampa.

“We want to have classrooms and workspaces which encourage more than just sitting in a row and starring at the professor the whole time,” said Furney. “This space is perfect for that.”

You can view a slideshow of the room’s transformation below.

 

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