How Esperanza College Used Technology to Keep Moving Forward During the Pandemic
Deep from within the extreme pressure brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown are rising-up new innovative ways to prepare students to move forward in the new world, thanks to technology.
As the pandemic got worse, more restrictive guidelines were issued November of 2020, requiring college courses in Philadelphia be taught only online. For the Media & Technology program at Eastern’s Esperanza College Campus (ECEU), this created difficult challenges — how do you teach a class like Studio Production online?
However, ECEU faculty were determined to innovate. Using software that enables professors and students to control the equipment remotely, professors came up with solutions to teach Studio Production online in the Spring semester with only minimal faculty or talent presence in the TV studio or control room. Media field production courses were taught online in a similar fashion. Internships were a mix of on-location and online.
One significant tool we utilized was technology that enables faculty to access a student’s computer remotely. This allowed faculty to teach audio and video post-production, web design, and mobile app development online! The technology provides similar interaction and learning experiences as in the labs. The online experience also helps prepare students for the reality that careers in video production, web design, mobile app development, and social media frequently involve collaboration with colleagues working all around the world.
ECEU’s Health Sciences students are also using technologies and simulations like Anatomage Cloud, CHEM 101, and other software that helped transfer learning in the labs online. While this is a complex process that involves continued fine-tuning, the silver lining is that this opens up a world of new opportunities moving forward both for education and career preparation. Fields that were seemingly impossible to teach online can now be taught online or in a blended format. Special speakers can be brought in to speak in class from anywhere in the world. The possibilities grow even more when augmented reality, virtual reality, and other technologies begin to be incorporated in education.
With technology in their hands and Faith, Reason, and Justice in their hearts, the path forward for Esperanza and Eastern students is incredibly exciting.
David Hurtado is the Interim Executive Dean at Esperanza College.