Last week was another exciting and rewarding time for the University of Rhode Island – move-in weekend and First Night were great successes and a new academic year began on a high note. However, there is one additional, and important, outcome of the intense level of this summer’s activities at URI that I would like to share.
Over the summer, in just about three months, state-of-the-art instructional technology was installed in fifty-two (52!) classrooms that previously had no modern teaching technology at all. Every one of these classrooms received the latest digital media technology, including HD projectors, blu-ray players, and digital switching controls. Assisted-listening devices were installed in classrooms for 50 or more students. The electronics in each room are networked to a central server that monitors the status, enables projector lamps to be replaced prior to failure, and provides a means to remotely assist an instructor. New whiteboards have been installed, walls and ceilings repaired, and many other improvements were made. Fifteen additional classrooms received major technology upgrades, again to a state-of-the-art level. These dramatic improvements place the University of Rhode Island among the leaders in our region and will substantially improve the learning environment for our students.
We are working hard to facilitate the innovative use of the new technology. Several training sessions for faculty have been held, and others will be scheduled. The Instructional Technology Center in Chafee will be upgraded with funds provided by the Champlin Foundation (another critical partner for URI) and brought online in October.