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ISU College of Business to open a state-of-the-art distance learning classroom and student laptop workroom

April 11, 2017

Poster announcing grand openings

POCATELLO – The Idaho State University College of Business is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the state-of-the-art distance-learning classroom – the Idaho Central Credit Union Learning Center in Room 506 along with the Technology Teaching and Learning Center in Room 507 of the Business Administration Building.

On Monday, April 17, the College and Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) will host a number of launching events for students, ISU affiliates and the business community. Beginning at noon until 2 p.m., students will have an opportunity to meet in small groups with a team of recruiters from ICCU in the Technology Teaching and Learning Center.

This event will provide students the opportunity to discuss what recruiters look for in potential employees, employment opportunities and job expectations within the various fields at ICCU. Additionally, between noon and 2 p.m. students will have an opportunity to tour and learn about the capabilities of the new space and how it will benefit them in their education.                  

The ICCU Learning Center represents a major step in connecting the College of Business with outreach campuses across the area and students studying online. To showcase this new space, Kent Oram, CEO of ICCU will speak on the value of building upon this connection beginning at 5 p.m. followed by a formal ribbon cutting at 5:15 p.m. Students, ISU affiliates and the business community are invited to celebrate at this event, enjoy light appetizers and tour the new facilities.

Thanks to the contributions from Idaho Central, the ICCU Learning Center will have advanced capabilities. The center will function as a distance-learning classroom equipped with two projector screens, two televisions, microphones above every desk and two high-definition cameras mounted at the front and the back of the classroom. These cameras will allow live classes to be broadcast to other distance-learning classrooms on the Meridian, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls campuses. But, the space doesn’t just allow for lecture broadcasting – the equipment will also permit classes to be streamed live on YouTube, so students studying online can access a class from anywhere using YouTube or other applications such as Cisco Jabber. Applications like Jabber will also allow these students to not only watch the class but also participate in live discussions.

“The equipment is really quite amazing,” said Bob Houghton, professor of Informatics and the IT administrator for the ISU College of Business. “We will have the capability to broadcast classes to three sites simultaneously in addition to providing students off the Pocatello campus with the opportunity to actually participate and contribute to the class discussions rather than just observe on their screens.”

According to Houghton, once a student in the classroom begins to speak, the microphone mounted above his or her head will automatically turn on and the camera at the front of the classroom will swivel and zoom to focus on the speaker- helping to increase involvement in the broadcasted class.

“The room will also be a great resource for our faculty,” said Houghton, explaining that professors will have the ability to record their lectures in the ICCU Learning Center classroom and edit the video in the soundproof editing studio next door in the Technology, Teaching and Learning Center.

The Technology, Teaching and Learning Center is an open student space equipped with six custom tables seating six students each, all designed for working individually or in groups. Each table will be furnished with a universal docking station and will be compatible with students’ Mac or PC laptops. The docking stations will allow students to connect to the network, the provided monitors and the room’s printer. The room also has two projectors, screens and a podium setup at the front of the space for students to utilize as needed.

“In addition, donors have made it possible to include a unique glassed-in server room, creating a great hands-on technology resource that permeates all business disciplines,” said Tom Ottaway, dean of the College of Business.