For Release October 8
South Dakota University Students, Faculty Praise New Teaching with Technology Curriculum
RAPID CITYStudents and faculty of the six South Dakota public universities gathered with the Board of Regents today at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to see technology in higher education curriculum exhibited at the Governor Janklows Faculty Awards for Teaching with Technology Demonstration. Lieutenant Governor Carole Hillard, representing Governor Janklow, was on hand to view the exhibits, talk with faculty who were displaying their redesigned courses, and speak to the gathering, which was hosted by the Board of Regents as a part of its regular business meeting.
The faculty who were exhibiting their high tech courses were recipients of the Governor Janklows Faculty Awards, a competitive grant program created by the Governor in early 1998 to encourage university professors to revise courses they were currently teaching. The purpose of the grant program was to provide compensation and support to enable faculty to devote time over the summer of 1998 to redesigning courses to include technology in the delivery of instruction. Northern State University professor in education Dr. Connie Geier, one grant recipient and a member of a faculty discussion panel, said, "The focus is to use technology to support teaching. It is no longer an option." Geiers course will use technology in teacher education assessment.
Her sentiments were echoed by Perry Titze, a secondary education math major at Black Hills State University. Titze said, "I believe this technology is absolutely necessary for future teaching. I wasnt even allowed to use a calculator to check my math, let alone to do it, when I was in high school. We future teachers need to know how to use this in a manner that the students can learn and build new experiences. Geometry sketchpad, for instance, is a wonderful tool."
More than one hundred faculty from the six regental universities submitted proposals to receive the grants. All tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty were eligible to apply. Initially Governor Janklow had limited the funding to fifty grants. "The grant proposals were so good, I funded fifty-seven," he said.
Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry worked with the Governor to plan the grant competition. "When the Governor proposed the idea to me, he said that he knew the future of instructional delivery lay with technology. He said that he wanted the professors to learn to use it so they could then teach the students. These university professors will now serve as mentors and resources to faculty on their own campuses," Perry said.
"Exciting things are happening on the South Dakota campuses," said Regents President James O Hansen. "Many of the students who come to us have had limited access to computers, the Internet, and high tech tools for learning. That will be changing now that Governor Janklows project to wire the public schools is nearly completed. But still the Regents know that right now we have to bridge the gap. We must bring our faculty up to speed so that they can prepare the students for the high tech world they will work in."
Jim Butthe, a pre-pharmacy student from South Dakota State University, observed, "I think this chemistry lab will be beneficial for computer illiterate people." Butthe is a student in one of the courses using the Internet to provide tutoring and data access in undergraduate chemistry laboratories. Professor Ron Utecht, who used the grant to revamp his course, said that he had heard no negative comments about the new computer system.
Dr. Robert L. Corey, Assistant Professor of Physics at SDSMT, also won one of the competitive grants. He developed an Internet-based course for remedial or introductory physics. Corey said that a tool like his course will have an impact on the preparedness of students coming into the engineering and science programs at School of Mines. He added that any student, even a high school student, with access to the Internet could use this learning tool.
The Faculty Awards demonstration was presented as a part of the Board of Regents regular business meeting. The exhibition concluded with short presentations from the award winners who discussed their experiences in revising their courses. A video of the Governors address and the panel discussion may be found on the Internet at http://www.hpcnet.org/SDEdNet.
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