Scratching the Surface

May 29, 2013

Currents Magazine, Featured

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“What really gets me excited is some of the things that faculty are doing with technology,” said Ken Janz, associate vice president and CIO, during his interview with Currents. He described several projects that are “just scratching the surface of what’s going on at Winona State.”

Researching an educational system has often meant going to the library and writing a paper. Jim Reineke, associate professor of Educational Foundations, Research, and Technology, arms his students with iPads go out into the field to interview educational experts. Students record, organize, and analyze interview information on their tablet devices.

Nikki Civettini, assistant professor of Sociology, utilizes a hybrid approach to teach her Sociology of Families course. Students prepare online by listening to lectures and reading or viewing support resources, and then meet to discuss the material. Civettini has found that the hybrid approach results in students who are more prepared and engaged, while accommodating varied learning styles and paces.

Teaching mental health assessment is easier and safer using tablet technology, finds Linda Smith, associate professor of Nursing. Students can record information on comprehensive assessment forms while observing the behavior of their patients. Tablets are lighter and easier to hold than laptops, meaning that they’re less susceptible to unhygienic conditions.

Kimberlee Snyder, professor of Operations Management, uses a full array of technology. In her online courses, students have access to lectures, tutorials, video, and learning and problem solving activities. One of the most valuable opportunities, according to Snyder, is that students can work with the same software packages that are used in the professional world, such as Project Pro for project management. “Their software experience becomes a skill level that is valuable to employers,” says Snyder.

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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