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Release: Immediate

Electronic classroom upgraded at UI Libraries Information Arcade

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Libraries Information Arcade has received a $135,000 grant from the University's Computing Fees Advisory Committee (CFAC) to upgrade the workstations in the Arcade's Electronic Classroom.

The grant provided the funding to upgrade the 24 student stations with Power Macintosh 7300/180 computers; the instructor's station will be upgraded to a Power Macintosh 8600/200.

Open since 1992, the 6,000-square-foot Information Arcade provides the facilities and services to aid the university community in integrating information technologies into learning and research. By the summer of 1997, the computers in the Arcade's Electronic Classroom will have 166 MHz Pentium PC Compatibility Cards that allow access to DOS/Windows-based resources on the Arcade's file server and the Libraries' CD-ROM network as well as the classroom software available in the Macintosh environment.

The CFAC grant will also enable the Arcade to expand its classroom software offerings and provide the means for full, hands-on instruction of many multimedia applications such as Adobe Photoshop, PageMaker and Premiere. The Arcade and these services are available to all UI Libraries users.

Money has also been channeled to equip the classroom with a Tech Commander video/input routing system. This unit allows the instructor's workstation to view any student station and take remote control of a station's mouse and keyboard. The instructor can broadcast his or her display to any one student station, a small group of student stations, or to the entire classroom.

Installed earlier this spring, the Tech Commander has had a noticeable impact on pedagogy in the electronic environment and has the potential to radically enhance the areas of collaborative learning and tutoring. The Tech Commander also interfaces with the two color overhead projection systems that can display any of the instructor's station displays.

In the five years since the Arcade was established, the Electronic Classroom has become an essential pedagogical tool for many faculty members and instructors throughout the university. The classroom offers a wide range of courses. According to Team Leader for Electronic Services Jim Loter, the upgrade helps the Libraries fulfill its pledge to provide the necessary services and facilities to aid in developing innovative methods for research, teaching and learning.

Applications for UI faculty use of the Arcade for fall '97 and spring '98 semesters are being accepted. Assistance in operating the classroom and integrating curriculum is available. More information about the Arcade and the Electronic Classroom can be found on the World Wide Web at or by calling Jim Loter at 319-335-5973.