The Education Commons has been open nearly two years now, and though it’s no longer the newest library space on campus (I doubt I need to tell anyone about the new 6th floor, but check it out), we have added upgrades in recent months. Our staff can help you with all of them – myself (the EC Librarian Eric Janec), as well as our 4 interns – Dave Klimowicz, Nick Giovannangelo, Jen Hunter and Alexis Morris. (Wondering how to find us? We have a new video showing how to walk here from Van Pelt.)
We’ve added equipment you can borrow, and two Mediascapes to Room 235. Before we get to them, though, we have the Macbooks and E-beam to talk about.
The EC has a cart full of Macbooks, 26 in total. You can borrow them at the front desk and use them as long as you want within the EC. Macbook chargers are available if an hour of YouTube has your own laptop’s battery critical before class.
The Macbooks are also available to borrow as a group (up to 20) if you’ve got a larger activity planned. This might be a class, or something like a self-organized workshop or group learning session that needs a large number of computers. We use the Macbooks for our workshops as well, including Prezi and Zotero, which I teach each month here at the EC.
The E-beam is a new piece of technology that lets you capture your whiteboard work on a computer. It’s simple to set up, and you can create multiple pages of text or drawings, and replay what you’ve written as you wrote it. There is some setup required so if you want to check out the E-beam just ask at the front desk and we’ll be able to help you. It’s best to do a quick session before you’re planning to use it so we can make sure everything goes smoothly when you’re actually teaching or presenting. Our E-beam can be used within the EC and there are additional E-beams available in WIC.
And finally, we have the Mediascapes, our multiple-monitor laptop tables. You can connect up to 4 laptops and display any combination of 2 of them on the dual monitors at the table. You can switch quickly between displays to show each other your work, compare what you’ve done, or show your screen on both monitors at once to drive home the fact that no, you were right. These are ideal for group work, and are wonderful options for TA sessions or office hours in courses that do their work on computers, like, well, most everything. Maybe not Printmaking: Etching (FNAR 251, if you’re interested).
To learn more about any of these, check out the EC’s technology page, or just come down and try them out yourself.