Students in need of better technology

IUS Horizon

I like IU Southeast. It’s a great school, and I’ve learned a lot here. Many of my professors have done a great job of furthering my education.

That said, my old high school has an edge on us when it comes to media technology. A lot of their equipment is superior to ours.

Keep reading. It’s almost embarrassing.

I went to Floyd Central High School, which — if you obey the speed limit — is about 10 minutes away from IU Southeast. They’ve been doing renovations to the school for about two years now. On Sept. 19, they officially completed those renovations.

What this high school offers is downright impressive. Let me give you some examples.

The new media center at FCHS is home to two radio broadcast rooms, a television studio, a control room and seven sound-proof editing rooms. All of this extends from the main media center hub filled with new Apple computers.

You know what IU Southeast has? We have a 10-by-11 room for The Horizon Newscast. It’s the size of a bathroom. Having five or more people in there at once has to be a fire hazard.

Our green screen, if you could call it that, is a single wall we painted green. We painted it ourselves.

If you want to be uninspired, please visit our newsroom at University Center, room 020. It’s directly across from Campus Life.

Also, the cameras those FCHS students use to produce their newscast are the same cameras ESPN uses. Yes, seriously.

We have a few small, handheld cameras that sometimes don’t work, and two have to be plugged into a wall outlet for them to turn on.

We’re working on fixing that problem. Even so, it shows there really is no comparison between the cameras we use and the ones at FCHS.

Tim Dench, FCHS radio and television teacher, said they are wired on a 10G network. How is it fair that a little school in Floyds Knobs can get a 10G network when a university can’t?

I don’t know, either. All I know is I want it.

What kind of edge does IU Southeast have when it comes to technology? We have a hard-working Information Technology Department, but our technology is not on the cutting edge. We’re like a butter knife. It just gets the job done. That’s all.

While we do have the Microsoft Surface tabletop computer in the University Grounds Coffee Shop, give me a break. IU Southeast spent $15,000 so students could play games like checkers. The money spent on it could’ve done so much to help students at this campus.

When two of The Horizon editors, Leah Tate and Kevin Schmidt, got an internship at WLKY this summer, they said they were overwhelmed by the technology of a professional news center. They hadn’t seen anything like it before.

Ignoring the lack of equipment on this campus would be a disservice to the students here. We aren’t as adequately prepared for the professional world as students elsewhere would be.

I’ve heard other journalism majors say the same thing. We are taught to report on a story, but our technology is so limited that we are years behind the curve and not at all up-to-date with the current state of the media.

Sad as this may sound, a student at FCHS is more prepared to go out to the professional world when it comes to technology than we are. That’s for damn sure.

However, it’s not my intention to whine about how the Department of Journalism doesn’t have enough to work with. Since it seems like I’m standing on my soapbox, I’m going to step down for a second.

All I’m saying is before we can be taken more seriously as a university, the students need to have better tools to work with — not just journalism students. I’ve heard from multiple students in chemistry, biology and nursing that have complained about outdated equipment.

Yes, I understand there are limited funds. I get it. That’s why I’m not pointing a finger at anyone or saying the students are being ignored. I would like to see more of an emphasis on student education, and technology is one way to help.

With the 7,100 students here paying thousands of dollars to attend, there has to be some more extra money to invest in students.

For instance, education students got two SMART Boards added to two rooms in Hillside Hall.  These are the kinds of things the students should be seeing more often.

I hope this brings attention to the needs of the students. Considering what we pay for our education, it’s my hope the university will meet our needs as we prepare to go into the professional job field.

When it comes to the education, as students, we will always ask for more, and I hope the university can deliver.

By JOSEPH DEVER

Senior Editor

jwdever@umail.iu.edu