Students are becoming increasingly discontent with the technology in classrooms on two fronts. It is a mix between professor ineptitude and malfunctioning equipment with slow technical assistance.
First, professors in high-tech rooms should go out of their way to prepare to use the costly equipment, or else it is money poorly spent. One ceiling projector costs upward of $25,000, but 30 percent of faculty members who teach in high-tech classrooms in the new Elliott School of International Affairs have yet to attend technology training sessions this year. GW invested $1.1 million on technology in the Elliott School alone and it is unacceptable that some of the equipment stands idle.
But once professors receive training, they arrive at class to find broken equipment in the new ESIA building, Media and Public Affairs building and Funger Hall. The problem prevents professors from executing their lesson plans and squandering precious, expensive classroom time waiting for technical assistance or moving to an alternative lesson plan. In the information age, incorporating technology into the classroom is vital to ensuring that students are receiving the richest educational opportunities.
The problems create a frustrating situation that needs to be addressed by department heads as well as GW technology officials. Although training is not mandatory, department heads should make it mandatory for professors to attend the technology training session held by the Center for Academic Technologies. At the same time, the University should ensure a more rapid response for professor calls for technology malfunctions during class, because at the end of the day it is the students getting cheated out of class time, regardless if it is the professor’s fault or not.