Technology improvements made, coming to MC Rockville


The start of the spring semester has brought a large number of changes to the campus, as well as the devices that are utilized on it. While students enjoyed their holiday season and prepared for the upcoming semester, the Office of Information Technology, the department in charge of developing current and future equipment at the Rockville Campus, was working on upgrading the tech that is so crucially depended upon. According to Lori Rounds, Director of Academic Technology Services, during the winter break, improvements to over 1500 desktops and 290 laptops accessible to students were carried out across the college. The computer labs as well as individual classes are becoming more equipped to handle the large demand for services. Computer labs scattered through the Rockville campus offer not only consistent service and availability, but also have tutors to assist anyone who needs help with a specific subject. Students that wish to do research or access the computers for writing papers may be interested in the computer labs in Humanities room 312 for math/science, Computer Science room 025, and Macklin Tower room 20 for general purpose.
Among the changes and improvements are new projectors installed in the Arts Department, replacing the old standard projectors with high-definition ones to improve the quality of lectures in the classes. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) also put into effect the new chat functionality that enables students and faculty to resolve any issues that they may have with computers or other electronics on campus through a live chat option that can be reached at the Montgomery College Office of Information Technology site. It is available Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Faculty and staff may also have noticed an improvement with their computers, as the IT department is underway with improvements for over 710 desktops and 164 laptops. In addition, faculty and staff can utilize the new iPad cart that was put into operation at the campus, which is for teachers who wish to rent it for classroom instruction. Whether teachers have found apps for their subject or courses, or they wish to allow students access to services such as Blackboard or online homework and videos, the iPads are shaping up to be a desired tool for both the students and the instructors. Students can work in groups and collaborate by sharing and adding information through a lesson. If the pilot program proves to be an effective tool for instructing students, there is a possibility that even more iPad carts will be purchased and available in upcoming semesters, Rounds said. Throughout the semester, service for faculty, administrators and students will continue to improve and become more reliable.
Looking forward, students can expect to see a greater number of computers, ranging from PCs to Macs and a growing number of iPads used by faculty in classroom activities. Service will continue to improve and in an effort to get students more engaged in the activities of the school, there will also be greater access to resources and more information available in the library databases.