By Kelsi Ortega – The fall ’14 semester will see new technology and conncetivity improvements to the William Jewell College campus. Incoming and returning students will receive an iPad Air, which will allow students and faculty to share a common platform and allow for the full utilization of the technology located in the Pryor Learning Commons. The iPads, funded from donors to the College, will open up new learning experiences for both students and faculty. The initiative will allow students to access William Jewell College’s digital material when and where they want, gain tools to enhance productivity and provide a common platform for the entire campus community.
Dr. Anne Dema, Provost of William Jewell College, stated, “Over the last few years, we have implemented several projects to integrate digital resources into the classroom. One of the challenges, however, was that not everyone had access to a common device or platform. When we learned about the new capabilities of the iPad Air and had a chance to see the opportunities the technology of the Pryor Learning Commons affords to faculty and students, it seemed like the right time to move to a common platform that will help us create an ecosystem for open-source learning.”
In order to help students and faculty who are not familiar with Apple products, William Jewell is planning professional development to help key faculty and staff learn about the iPad and the opportunities now available to them. Professional development sessions are planned for this summer and a peer-training model for students next fall. In addition to the training, there will be an engagement hub located in the Pryor Learning Commons that can be accessed at any time.
William Jewell is also implementing a technology and connectivity update this summer that will allow the campus to better utilize the new technology. The residence halls, Mabee Center and the Pryor Leadership Center will all receive a wireless network upgrade with bandwidth doubling to 1 GB in July.