Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) secured the initial $425,000 in a federal appropriation for the equipment — high-resolution plasma screens — and recently went to the campus for a demonstration.
“This essentially allows the boundaries of the classroom to be extended beyond the four walls to the Internet, to distance learning, or just about anything a creative professor would possibly want,” Weiner said.
Three 52-inch screens should be installed this year, school officials said.
They hope to eventually have a total of 30 screens, if the school gets the $2.25 million it wants for the program.
Prof. Delores Friedman, who teaches early childhood education, demonstrated how the technology can be used to enhance the instruction of kindergarten teachers.
With cameras operated by remote, a kindergarten class session can be observed, filmed and archived so the teacher can return to it later and analyze the session, using it as a learning tool, for instance.
“We can observe unobtrusively the kind of discoveries that children make,” Friedman said.
“Things we learn theoretically about children we can now see come alive on the screen. This opens up so many possibilities.”
Although meant to be used primarily for students in the early education program at the school, the screens will have wide application for students in any subject area.
Biology Prof. Maria Ortiz, for instance, demonstrated cell division and 3-D DNA animation on the screen.
“The type of dynamic process that goes on in biology is most effective when you can actually show the student the process as it is occurring,” she said.
Provost Stuart Suss, who teaches history, said the equipment will enhance instruction of modern students who respond to visual presentations.
“If I was teaching about World War I and I wanted to demonstrate to my students what gas warfare was like, there are videos that dramatically and accurately portray that,” he said.
“This gives me another tool for teaching the subject matter.”
Original Story Date: 05/6/01