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Frontier Faculty Receive Innovation in Technology Teaching Awards

Four faculty members of Frontier Community College (FCC) recently received Innovation in Technology Teaching Awards from Illinois Eastern Community Colleges (IECC) for the 2019 year.  The grant provided over $12,000 in awards for faculty and will provide financial support for projects that lead to the development of innovative teaching strategies. 

The four members receiving funding were: Rodney Maxey, Assistant Professor of Automotive Technology; Linda Monge, Mathematics Assistant Professor; Mary Morris, English Assistant Professor; and Jodi Peach, Health Informatics Instructor.

Faculty applied for the awards last fall and were encouraged to research cutting-edge strategies that would not only enhance student learning but also their program as a whole.  As the grant states, “innovation involves taking risks and thinking outside the box.” 

The Innovation in Technology Teaching Award specifically targets aspects of pedagogy (i.e. the teaching talents, methods and abilities of the instructor) and provides funding for strategies that would not typically be available through normal budgeting.  The awards are issued once per year and spread across several applications.

Rodney Maxey will be purchasing sixteen laptops and headphones with his funding to integrate computer-based resources into the Automotive Technology program.  As the automotive industry is increasingly utilizing technology in their products and services, Maxey wants to maintain the modernization of his program.  Graduates will have a competitive edge when seeking employment.

In order to make lectures more readily available to all students enrolled in her mathematics classes, Linda Monge will be acquiring video capture equipment.  She will be able to record classroom lectures and make them accessible to students online.

Mary Morris will incorporate a SurfacePro and portable projector into her classroom, and both she and her students will be taking advantage of this technology.  Morris explained that this award will allow her to lecture throughout the classroom, rather than being confined to one specific area.

Jodi Peach received adequate funding to purchase a HoverCam Pilot for her Health Informatics Program.  The HoverCam is an electronic podium that allows the instructor to record, project, and connect additional technology to the device (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or mobile device).  The rolling podium is portable, giving instructors the freedom to position themselves in the classroom where they see fit.

“I am very excited about the HoverCam Pilot, because it is going to change the dynamics of my classroom,” says Peach.  “I no longer have to write on the board and teach with my back to the students.  Using the HoverCam, I can share my computer screen while looking directly at students and seeing their reactions.  This will enable me to provide instant feedback to the class.”

Dr. Paul Bruinsma, Dean of Instruction, was very proud of the awards FCC received.  “The Innovations in Technology Teaching Award program has been a great addition to IECC,” he said.  “It has allowed us to invest in our programs and our people in order to deliver an exceptional education and superior services.  To be attractive to future students and employers, we must continue to evolve and prepare our students for the changes technology will bring to the future of our work and our lives.”

FCC previously received an award in 2018, when the Fire Science Program received funding for thermal imaging infrared cameras.

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