January 28, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 33°F


Ithaca College Educational Technology Day showcases innovation

At this year’s Ithaca College Educational Technology Day, participants will be able to experiment with 3-D printers, test-drive robots and attend presentations on emerging technology and issues in information technology today, and Ed Tech Day will spark ideas on how students can integrate technology into their own lives.

The 26th annual Ed Tech Day is organized by DIIS and will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 24 in the Campus Center. The free regional event is predicted to bring in over 1,600 visitors from upstate New York to campus, said Marilyn Dispensa, instructional technology coordinator for DIIS.

David Weil, director of engagement and implementation for Digital Instruction and Information Services and coordinator of Ed Tech Day, said the event offers an important experience to students and participants.

“Some people are going to walk away having seen a technology that they … may have only read about or never even heard about, and that ideally will spark some idea and make some connections for people,” Weil said. “Another thing that people will walk away with is seeing how technology can impact lives.”

A vendor showcase will include over 50 technology companies and multiple colleges to discuss how students and faculty are using technology to improve learning experiences. Vendors from Apple, AT&T, Dell and Microsoft are on the list of guests for this year’s event, Weil said.

In addition to the vendor booths, a section will be allocated for visitors interested in learning more about startups and other emerging innovations on the local and national level. The nonprofit organization Rev: Ithaca Startup Works will join Ithacash in the Startup Central showcase area located in Emerson Suites.    

Starting at 10 a.m., national leaders in the technology industry will present seminars. Clare Van Den Blink , Pace University’s chief information officer, will co-host the Women in IT Panel Discussion with Katie Vale from the Bates College library. Seminar topics this year will range from Women in Information Technology to Independence through Robotic Technology, Weil said.

Among the featured speakers is robotics activist and quadriplegic Henry Evans. He will make a digital appearance from his home in Palo Alto, California, through the use of Suitable Technologies’ BeamPro Smart Telepresence System — a new robotic video conferencing tool. Evans, despite being physically impaired, uses the BeamPro System to communicate with spaces and people by using control keys connected to his monitor to explore a projected space without having to be physically present or confined to a mounted screen, according to Suitable Technologies.

Dispensa encourages members of the campus community to attend the vendor demonstration of the BeamPro System, hosted prior to Ed Tech Day, presented by Suitable Technologies representative Christa Cliver.

“Any opportunity that we can show this new technology to college students, especially, will further the invaluable conversations about how it can be implemented into multiple aspects of our lives,” Cliver said.

In addition to vendor presentations, there will be eight seminars held in time slots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the panel on women in technology and robotic technology, a panel called “Student Perspectives on IT in Higher Education” will include the input of students at the college, discussing how technology plays a role in their education from their perspective, according to the event website.

Freshman Taylor Yowan is one of the five students on the student panel. She said she learned about the panel through her father, a systems administrator at DIIS.

“I think I’ll have a good student perspective because, as a biology major and computer science minor, computers are used in a majority of my classes,” Yowan said.

The college will also display its own information technology resources like the physics department’s 3-D printer and a NextEngine 3-D scanner from the School of Humanities & Sciences Makerspace.  

Assistant News Editor Sophia Tulp contributed reporting to this article