ISU Headlines

Software enhances College of Technology learning opportunities

Posted October 19, 2006

New Elluminate software in use at the Idaho State University College of Technology is enhancing the education of students like Guy Smith who is legally blind.

Smith is a student in the massage therapy program and is benefiting by the use of this software in his anatomy and physiology course.Smith began his education at ISU as a German/Spanish education major.

“I loved the language but after getting started, I found out that I just was not good at it,” Smith said. He explored other degree options at the University and chose massage therapy. “I have always been interested in massage and like working with my hands,” Smith said, “I was excited to learn ISU had an accredited program at the University level with high standards.”

When Jason Shaw, anatomy and physiology instructor, introduced the Elluminate software the first day of class, Guy immediately saw how this would benefit him in the classroom. Guy uses a laptop with a special screen.

“I can attend class from home or anywhere with my laptop and see exactly what Jason is doing in real time. He draws all the time in an array of colors to illustrate how things work and can also incorporate images from our text book.”

Shaw’s lectures are recorded via Web CT allowing students to review lectures at a later time.

“This is great. I can forward to the parts I need and watch the lectures over as many times as I need,” Smith said. “Elluminate is amazing and helpful. I would do much better if it were available in all of my classes.”

The use of Elluminate provides additional opportunities for students to experience hands-on and applicable training at a distance.

“I think this teaching method can help other students,” Smith said, “and provide a high cost savings to students through the distance-learning abilities it provides.”

Elluminate is a real-time virtual classroom environment designed for distance education and collaboration in academic institutions. The result is engaged students, enhanced learning and improved comprehension.Shaw is testing Elluminate further by teaching the entire course from Boise this week. In addition, students in Boise can talk to admissions counselors at the College of Technology from Boise, live via the Web because of Elluminate.