Classroom Reboot

Health Class Sex-Ed Films, now in high definition.

Health Class Sex-Ed Films, now in high definition.

Taylor Fife

During the past few weeks, strange signs have been appearing that warn of the transformation of rooms all throughout the campus in becoming “Tech 1” and “Tech 2” classrooms. Students have been bubbling with anticipation about what goodies may be waiting for them in their newly refurbished learning quarters.

When our now standard facilities become Technology Enhanced Classrooms (TEC’s), student reactions will surely vary. Certainly, some will be ecstatic to find their classrooms enhanced with new fangled gadgetry such as “a ceiling mounted data/video projector, sound amplifier and speakers, VHS video player [and a] connection for a laptop computer.” Other students, however, may be slightly dismayed when they walk into their new classrooms only to find themselves placed in an environment that they feel they deserved close to a decade ago. Nevertheless, there will be those quite relieved to see UMass-Boston trying hard to keep up even if they are still a few leaps behind the rest of the industrialized world.

The lucky students who will find themselves in the “Tec 2” classrooms may actually witness a sight worthy of an article in The Mass Media. “These rooms have everything available in the Level 1 areas as well as a Dell (Windows XP) and a Macintosh (OS X) computer installed in a teaching console,” reported the official University of Massachusetts Boston Classroom Technology Renovation website. “These rooms also house a digital document camera, DVD player and a control panel to select which device will be displayed on the computer and projector.”

During the upgrades, classrooms have apparently been deemed unfit for use and classes have been accordingly relocated. However, the classroom relocation schedule has been a little bit mystifying and elusive. There have been frequent reports of the spaces assigned as temporary classrooms having problems such as inadequate size or multiple classes assigned to the same room.

In particular, an interesting dilemma occurred with the Honors 101 seminar section 2. As a pack of students arrived to the classroom, they found their classroom empty and noticed the sign on the door directing them to a room on the floor above them. Chaos ensued when the students found that swing space M-2-213 was already occupied by another group. One student proposed in exasperation that they leave and then email the professor later to explain the confusion. After extensive searching, the class finally made its way back to the original classroom, which seemed to be in proper order, where the teacher was waiting, frustrated at the delay.

In all, there will be 55 renovated classrooms: 22 in McCormick, 25 in Wheatley, and 5 in the science center.