New multimedia classroom dedicated at Nave Center

By Julie Fann
star staff

East Tennessee State University officials, school staff and students gathered Friday to dedicate a new multimedia classroom at the Nave Center in Elizabethton. Speakers at the dedication emphasized that using funds to build the classroom involved ignoring other, less important, needs.
   "The carpet in the hall is 25 years old. We're trying to put our money where we can give what makes the most impact for our students and our faculty, and that's how these rooms have come to be," said Dr. Norma McRae, ETSU Vice Provost for Public Service, Dean of Continuing Education, and initiator of the multimedia classroom project. She said the project began five years ago when she chaired a committee charged with looking at the quality of ETSU classrooms.
   Funds to build the classroom came from a technology access fee that all registered ETSU students are required to pay. The classroom is one of 10 that already exist on ETSU's main campus, and the second one to be constructed off-site.
   Bob Kearfott, ETSU's Multimedia Classroom Manager, demonstrated the technology available in the multimedia classroom, called SMART rooms. The most advanced feature, called a SMART board, is an interactive white board similar to the old chalkboards, that works with an LCD projector to display the computer desktop on the screen (board). Faculty or student's fingertips then work like a mouse. One touch takes the user to the desired software option.
   "With the advent of technology and its rapid growth, it's important to have this type of learning environment. It enhances learning. Our goal is to have one room per college at the university and then upgrade other classrooms," Kearfott said.
   Mark A. Hagy, Assistant Professor of Radiology, demonstrated how using the SMARTboard with an overhead projector will give students a clearer view of textbook materials and X-rays.
   Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Dean of the College of Public and Allied Health, performed the formal dedication of the classroom. "The Nave Center has always been a very special part of this community. Learning opportunities and possibilities here in Elizabethton will only expand with this kind of technology being available," she said.