It turns out, quite a bit. Please take a look at the blog of Dr. Randall VanWagoner, President of Mohawk Valley Community College - part of the SUNY system. Dr. VanWagoner is unique in that he is a college president writing a public blog and also because he offers a compelling, often unvarnished view of community colleges from his unique perspective as a president. In this latest post he discusses his efforts to visit superintendents from his service school districts. This is an amazing outreach activity from a college president and can only serve to better inform his decision making and enhance the relationship between the school districts and the college. His observation of the number of Smartboards in the school districts is interesting, as progress integrating the same technology into his own college. We haven't bought into Smartboards here at our college, instead we're focused on ubiquity of "level-one" technology classrooms, which include an instructor PC connected to a ceiling-mounted projector. I'd be interested to hear from VanWagoner the required professional development for the Smartoards; the level of faculty adoption; and any measures of success they've been able to document.
I think this is a great tool for a college president to communicate and provides an amazing level of transparency. Kudos to Dr. VanWagoner!
Over the past year, I have had the tremendous good fortune to visit with the superintendent of nearly every school district in Oneida County (I'll complete my tour later this month). I did this in preparation for our 3rd annual superintendent’s breakfast that will take place March 18th. The possibility was too tempting – to get to walk the halls of every high school, sometimes the middle schools and junior highs, and sometimes even the elementary schools in every district. The experience has allowed me to see first-hand what MVCC students of tomorrow are experiencing today…and think about what their expectations will be when they arrive at our doors.
An early indicator came in my first visit when the Superintendent told me that they had installed smartboard technology in every elementary and junior high classroom and were scheduled to finish the high school in the fall. I later walked through many schools where smartboards were in every classroom in the district. Fortunately, we are well on our way with smartboards and related faculty training in the active use of the technology – clearly, many of our future students will be expecting it. Although the classroom furniture was often the porcelain tablet armchairs, they were often in mixed arrangements and, as a percentage, more classrooms had tables and chairs than we currently have. Our recent efforts to update classroom furniture need to continue and help create a more tangible difference between a high school and college classroom experience.