Take a break with Tech Fair

Whether it’s for half an hour or several demos in an hour and a half, the six presenters of this year’s break away sessions at the 2003 BGSU Northwest Ohio Technology Fair are fortunate to be able to participate.

According to Duane Whitmire, manager of the Student Technology Center and coordinator for the fair, presenter spots were at a premium in comparison to the responses they received last year.

“Last year we had to beg people to do break away sessions,” he said. “This year we had to turn people away.”

Session topics for this year include how to use the new University e-mail features, using digital video to deliver lectures, Camfire Software and a demo of Internet 2. Scott Graybill of Cedar Point’s Office of Planning and Design will also be showing the technologies involved in designing roller coasters and other amusement rides.

The boost in interest could be a result of the increase in the number of faculty/student collaborations, according to Bruce Edwards, associate dean of distance learning and international programs. Edwards will be presenting ways in which the campus community can take advantage of Internet 2, a consortium involving more than 200 Universities in the United States.

“Over the last year and a half with the developments on campus, there have been a lot of faculty/student [collaborations] that have developed new technologies,” he said. “I think students and faculty need to see that Bowling Green is in the upper echelon of using technical tools to create educational opportunities.”

Several of the sessions will feature the research of students at the University.

While more than 60 vendors will have a lot to offer for participants, the break away sessions take the fair to the next level, Whitmire said. “The underlying purpose of a break away session is to get … a more in-depth experience than just walking around looking at vendor tables,” he said. “It gives some opportunities to see the latest in technology.”

According to presenter and Assistant Professor in the College of Technology Paul Cesarini, break away sessions are an asset to what he would dub a tradeshow and educational combo. Cesarini has coordinated previous Technology Fairs at the University.

“I think the Technology Fair has traditionally been a great combination of … a tradeshow and academics,” he said. “The break away sessions tend to focus on the scholarly research in technical areas.”

But the focus of the technology Fair always comes back to education–for both students and faculty, Edwards said.

“The Technology Fair is a good way to get students and faculty to see there’s a lot of different ways to learn and teach,” he said.