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Peabody Technology Support Center

Students working on image editing in the Wyatt Macintosh labA major role of the Center is to foster and encourage increased application of various technologies in the teaching, outreach, research, and administrative activities of Peabody College. The Center has recently expanded its responsibilities to include greater levels of support for both funded and unfunded research.

As more faculty, staff, students, and administrators incorporate appropriate technologies into their everyday learning and work experiences, the demand for support facilities and personnel increases. As a result, the Center's support model is based upon the premise that we provide the necessary guidance, expertise, training, and equipment to facilitate the efforts of those who want to incorporate technologies into their classrooms, offices, research projects, and learning environments.

For example, our Center offers editing facilities, training courses, smart tools, and a small number of technologists serving as "guardian angels." The intended result is an ever-broadening base of expertise shared by faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and students across the campus. This support model is scalable as more members of our community become technology literate. Our goal is to graduate technology literate students and to send technology literate faculty into the classroom.

The Center's Roles

The Center's efforts are dedicated to support all members of the college community, including administrators, faculty, students, and staff. Among the center's responsibilities:

Distance learning, videoconferencing, satellite uplink/downlink services - provide equipment and programmatic and technical expertise for activities involving IP, satellite, and digital telephony transmission.

Software Acquisitions and Update - The center works closely with VU's Information Technology Services and software producers to provide expedited access to software packages at the most advantageous pricing schedules available.

Technology-enhanced facilities administration - includes system design, acquisition, installation, security, and maintenance for classrooms, presentation rooms, labs, kiosks, and other common access areas. The Center leads efforts to expand both wired and wireless network access throughout the campus.

Event and presentation support - Areas of responsibility include equipping and maintaining presentation facilities, training end users, providing on-site technologists for major events, and providing expertise for pre- and post-production planning, video capture and editing.

Student support encompasses supporting dorm and home computing, administering open access labs, and providing remedial and advanced training. Multimedia materials support runs the gamut from user training to sound and image capturing, editing, programming, file serving, and streaming.

Instructor support includes all pertinent areas from in-class instructor assistance to training and assistance in educational module production.

College staff support - Our primary support of college staff involves desktop and laptop computers and peripheral devices. Limited training in the use of productivity tools such as word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database applications is available in the Wyatt Development Lab (Wyatt 131). Specialized seminars in the capture and manipulation of images, video, and podcasting are held periodically.

Administrative systems support - the Center provides interfaces between the large legacy campus systems and the needs of college administration and staff particularly as those needs relate to databases. As time permits, the center provides assistant to faculty who need to establish databases for their research.

Equipment circulation - The Center maintains an inventory of portable equipment used by the instructional and event programs of the college. Items such as digital still and video cameras, tripods, microphones, LCD projectors, screens, VCRs, DVD players, and audio recorders are circulated to members of the college community for official activities. A web-based asset circulation database is used to facilitate equipment reservation and circulation.

Electronic security systems - Center personnel work with security vendors to install, maintain, operate, and expand electronic security systems including access control and closed circuit television (CCTV). Three elevators and 117 doors are currently connected to the access control system. Access to buildings, classrooms, labs, and offices is provided to authorized personnel by means of proximity devices.

New technology awareness - The PTSC hosts periodic seminars, workshops, and other regular training opportunities to provide training and to spotlight new technologies of interest to the college community. Center personnel meet with faculty to raise awareness of viable technologies that may be of use in their areas of interest.

Online evaluation and election systems - The center's director is the administrator of Peabody VOICE (Vanderbilt Online Instructor and Course Evaluations) and the online system for election of members to the Peabody Faculty Council and the VU Faculty Senate.

Room scheduling - The center administers RoomTime, a room scheduling program used for classrooms, labs, conference room, and presentation rooms around the campus.

Information security and data recovery - The PTSC's Information Security Officer works with the PTSC staff and other members of the Peabody community to assist them in securing information that is stored on various devices and transmitted on and off-campus. In addition, he is often able to recover data on failed devices such as hard drives.

Funded and Non-funded research support - The Center assists faculty members and staff with the most appropriate technologies to use in support of their research projects. The primary thrust is to provide training, non-specialized equipment, consultation, guidance, and other expertise to assist those individuals who have externally-funded or non-funded projects or who are working on prototypes with a goal of acquiring external funding. The Peabody Research Storage Array is available when research projects require mass storage of video images and other data files.

Research proposals - The PTSC provides pre-award technology consultation to assist proposal developers in determining how they may make the best use of technology once their proposals are funded. With input from the PTSC staff, prospective principal investigators can make informed decisions related to personnel, equipment, and software.

Technology planning and advocacy - The Center's personnel, especially its leadership, are heavily involved in all aspects of technology planning, advocacy, and facilitation for the campus, and, as appropriate, for the university. Center staff members serve in active roles on relevant forums, committees, and task forces that are involved in making technology-related decisions. The staff are available to assist campus leaders as they make critical decisions about the implementation and support of various technologies for all types of users.

Corporate relationships - The Center's Director works with college and university administrative officers to establish mutually beneficial relationships with corporations that can assist in the furtherance of the college's mission.

Community relationships - Peabody College is a highly respected member of the Nashville and Davidson County community. The Center attempts to foster and improve that respect whenever possible by sharing our expertise and, when appropriate, other resources.