Virtual Learning for Kent State University Students
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Posted by: Carolyn Carvalho, Advisor, KSU-Ashtabula
The students of Kent State University Ashtabula (KSUA) AITP are grateful for the invitation from Prof. Robert Logan and the Columbiana AITP Student Chapter to their recent web conference with Keith Mayer on November 10th. Keith is an IT Pro Technical Evangelist at Microsoft and visited KSUA in October and spoke to an eager group of students and IT professionals about new features in Windows Server 2012.
KSUA AITP students, already preparing for their annual journey to the AITP National Collegiate Conference in April 2013, were excited to hear Keith share his knowledge on Microsoft Virtual Academy and the Technology Affiliate Certification program. Each year students attempt certification exams available at the conference. They see certification as an important step in advancing their career as an IT professional. Keith did an excellent job explaining the many advantages of getting certified, the different levels of certifications offered to them through Microsoft, and the fantastic resources available to them via the Microsoft Virtual Academy.
Students were pumped after the conference. Rita Hennigan stated: "I learned a lot about the certification tracks for professional status, especially the SQL track. I am looking forward to the conference in the spring so I can gain some of these certifications.” After Keith described creating virtual study labs with Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Jeff Hopes said, "Can't wait to start using Server 12 over winter break!”
Video conferencing is becoming more prevalent and revolutionizing the world of education. Students are highly benefiting from its educational advantages. Introducing students to new technologies, such as what was used to facilitate this web conference, can prepare them for trends that will soon be the norms of society. One of the reasons this web conference was so well-attended by our students was the fact that delivering this presentation via Microsoft Lync enabled our students to attend on an early Saturday morning when they might not have been able to make the 3-hour round trip to Columbiana. A virtual conference eliminated the drive and eased the cost of gas and time.
The technology necessary for the presentation at KSUA was readied a few minutes before the event. The room we met in was equipped with a PC with an Internet connection and speakers. Lync Attendee client software was already downloaded and installed on the system to provide integrated audio and video. A Logicam webcam and microphone was connected so the students were able to ask Keith questions. We viewed the presentation on a large projector screen at the front of the room. An email had been sent with the meeting room URL. All that was required was to navigate to the URL for the meeting room and join the meeting. Once the meeting began, we could view Keith's PowerPoint presentation and explore websites he visited. Students were able to ask questions in real time and discuss aspects of the presentation that were personally relevant.
Thanks again to the Columbiana Student AITP and Keith Mayer for a great educational experience. I enjoyed hearing the many positive comments from the students about the technology used to deliver the web conference, the content of the presentation, and their enthusiastic intent to study and commit to preparing for certification exams in the near future.
Assistant Professor (Computer Technology)
Kent State University at Ashtabula