The grant, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded URI’s College of Nursing $423,700 for the project.
When White Hall was dedicated in 1977, computers were just beginning to arrive on the scene and the need for and easy access to technology wasn’t as critical as it is today.
“It’s a dated facility. It doesn’t fit with the moving trend of incorporating technology into the curriculum,” says Joseph, commenting on the current lifestyles of students who live in a fast-paced, digitally-rich, mobile world.
The new classroom will feature interactive TV screens, smart boards, a power lectern, and ceiling projectors. Joseph has also used the grant to purchase iPod Touches for faculty and PEPID, medical software for PDA’s.
The iPod Touches provide an effective place to hold and share relevant medical and patient care information. In addition, the college is encouraging students to purchase iPod Touches for this purpose.
“Since the number of nursing students has risen considerably in the last five years, we need more and better space for large classes,” says Joseph. “This renovation will allow us to accommodate large classes more comfortably.”
Following the trend of the newly added White Hall Student Commons, the new classroom will provide a comfortable area with a modern flair. Removing the individual tablet desks, the classroom will feature long tables, which are more conducive to computer use and group exercises.
“Faculty and students can have instant access to a great deal of information with iPod Touches,” says Joseph. “It is far more convenient than continually bringing a large textbook to clinical rotations.”
The PEPID software uses wireless technology to deliver large amounts of information instantly, important in situations that require rapid attention. The software is complete with medical and dosing calculators, prescription interactions and programs for specific medical fields.
The current media center will be moved to an adjacent room once the new classroom is completed, as early as September of 2011.