Sunday, August 31, 2008

Starting Class

Because I am a Speech Pathology/Audiology major I get to take part in a unique classroom experience at Calvin.  On the lower level of the DeVos Communications Center is a distance education classroom.  I’m not sure exactly what you call the technology that room is equipped with, but it is similar to videophone.  Between every two seats is a little black microphone with a button to activate it, and there are two large television screens at the front and back of the room.  This room allows Calvin “Speechies” to stay at Calvin all four years of our education and for all the classes in our major.  Two classes in Audiology are required for a Calvin degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology, but Calvin does not have an Audiology professor. Before the DeVos Communications Center was built six years ago, Calvin Speechies had to drive to Michigan State University for two classes, one in the spring of their Junior year and one in the fall of their Senior year.  That required a two-hour roundtrip drive twice a week.  Now, though, we attend Michigan State’s Dr. Elfenbein’s classes from Calvin’s distance education classroom.  We see Dr. Elfenbein on one of our television screens and her powerpoints on another one.  She sees us on the back wall of her lecture hall.  Whenever we have questions we just raise our hands and activate our microphones.  We can hear her, she can hear us, and we can see each other too.  The system took a little getting used to last spring when I took my first MSU class, but now it seems old hat.  The only uncomfortable part now is that MSU’s schedule is different than Calvin’s.  So even though Calvin doesn’t start for another week, I’ve been taking my MSU class for a week already.  It’s getting me ready for being a full-time student again next Monday.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 08/31 at 04:41 PM
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