New UC Center Serves Student Technology Needs

University Libraries, nationally recognized for its innovative approach to technology, now has a new main attraction for University of Cincinnati students. The Student Technology Resources Center (STRC), located on the main floor of Langsam Library, has some of the most advanced equipment that students can use for editing digital video for classroom projects, creating Web sites or developing PowerPoint presentations. Furthermore, if they don't know how to use the latest bells and whistles on these systems, the STRC staff and student "technology whiz" mentors are standing by to help.

The buzz about this "one-stop shopping" spot for student technology needs is spreading -- more than 500 students used the center when it opened for fall quarter. 

"Sometimes I see seniors come up to the desk at Multimedia Services, and they just look wistfully over at the STRC and say, 'I wish this was here when I was a freshman," said Jay Sinnard, who is coordinator of the STRC along with Alison Armstrong, associate senior librarian.

"Students can come here and get help or work independently," adds Armstrong. "Students have the opportunity to create some dynamic, interesting, educational, relevant projects, and have fun in the process."

The two editing suites hold ALIEN Ware high-end PCs. "We made them as powerful as possible," says Sinnard. "The power behind them matters. It allows you to run through your entire project without any frustration. You're not as likely to crash with this equipment as with some of the other hardware."

Brad Sheets, a computer science technology major, works as a student mentor in the center. Sheets says that he's most commonly asked about scanning photos, but he has given some tips on PowerPoint, too. "People do a lot of PowerPoint presentations, and they want to know how to incorporate some sound or pictures into them. I can help them with that." UC co-op student Josh Vega also provides student assistance.

Equipment that can be checked out at the adjacent Multimedia Services in Langsam include digital cameras, data projectors, camcorders and laptop computers. "So, students can check out equipment, put together their projects in the STRC with or without our assistance, and then borrow equipment for their classroom presentation," says Sinnard.

Students are recommended to reserve the equipment they plan to check out from Multimedia Services, and can do so by calling 556-1980. Reservations for editing time in the Student Technology Resources Center can be arranged by calling 556-1893.

Armstrong says the STRC is just the launching point of a much larger university-wide initiative to provide advanced technology to students and faculty.

Funding for the STRC is supported in part by a $39,500 one-year award from the UC student technology fee. Full-time students pay a $78 technology fee per quarter to improve UC student access to, as well as assistance with, information technology.
 
 

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