As this post is being published, I am in my brand new electronic/wired/connected/futuristic (Windows 8.1-based) classroom for the first introductory class of my Material History seminar. I visited the classroom yesterday and they were still tweaking the wiring and setting up the cables and such. There were three technicians, two set up guys, and the two first-in-command from the tech department at Teaching and Learning, all on site when I arrived. Let's just say I won't be doing any heavy collaborating with the students over virtual whiteboards until at least the third week, which is good, since this is when I planned to do some of that anyway. The ethernet cable for the presenter's computer was not connected yet and there was no power outlet on the podium either. It was still, unconnected, on a table near the entrance.
This said, it's going to be cool. I hope. I was looking at my class list and only recognized three names. I hope it's a good sign.
What I not sure is good sign yet is whether the fact that the top Teaching and Learning guy kept saying that I was the one who understood the tech the best of all the other profs who were going to use the new classrooms. And they were counting on my feedback for their reports to the university, because they need to prove that the project is not a waste of money and technology. His words. I guess that's a compliment, but how sad is it that the History professor is the one they count on, not the Physics or Chemistry profs? Aren't the "hard" sciences supposed to be better at tech than the "soft" sciences? I know I am quite good at this, but I would have expected that I'd be on par with profs used to "equipment". Whatever.
I'll let you all how things went in my next blog post. Like if I had a plug to plug my laptop into.