A small budget stands in the way of technological upgrades.
When it comes to upgrading technology, campus officials face a dilemma: follow the highcost, fast-paced trends, or wait and see which technology has staying power.
“Because we have such limited money, I don’t want to be on the bleeding edge of technology,” Santa Ana College President Erlinda Martinez said.
The Santa Ana College Technology Advisory Committee could spend about $20 to $40 million throughout the next two years on additional wireless hotspots, instructional computers, and various hardware and software throughout campus.
The project is long overdue, said Brian Schroeder, former co-chair for SAC TAC.
In summer of 2014, Dunlap Hall will have new projectors and SMARTboards in every classroom.
The interactive whiteboard systems cost about $3,000 to $5,000 each when bought in bulk, including hardware and software, according to CCS Presentation Systems Incorporated’s website.
“I am very excited to have something like a SMARTboard or better projectors, which means I won’t have to carry so much with me,” English Instructor Ilona Missakian said.
Along with new hardware, in 2012 the district began using SharePoint, a cloud storage where students and faculty can access files. Only a handful of instructors have begun using it, but it is expected to become a district standard within the year, Martinez said.
Some faculty members have taken it upon themselves to make classes more tech friendly.
Pierre Nguyen, a biology instructor at SAC, offers an interactive PDF for his students to use on their tablets, laptops and smart phones.
Nguyen says that since so many students bring their laptops to class, he might as well use them. In addition to interactive PDFs, Nguyen provides his students with an electronic version of the textbook.
“In science, where the topics can be new and quickly changing, it helps to be able to obtain immediate and up-to-date info,” Nguyen said.
The last time the district upgraded hardware and software was in 2011, replacing the administrative computers in the Digital Media Center.
Martinez expects the latest technological changes to start within the next 18 months.
“We don’t have the money to do it all, but we are going to,” said Martinez. “We have to.”