department technical director Shawn Evans uses the new multimedia
technology in his stage management class to better display
and deconstruct visual material.
new technology brings major changes to arts precinct classrooms
didnt take long for the word to circulate in the Universitys
architecture and arts teaching community that two new classrooms
fully loaded with state-of-the-art technology would be operational
classrooms are already in much demand and three additional high-tech
rooms will be added soon in that area.
of a Grounds-wide classroom improvement project called Visual
Information Technology in Architecture, Art and Science (VITAAS),
the classrooms in Campbell Hall and the Drama Building allow students
and professors to move into the digital multi-media age. ITC equips
the rooms with computer projection and DVD capabilities, video
projectors, sound systems and combination overhead and opaque
projectors capable of manipulating 3-D objects to be viewed from
VITAAS is planned and supported by the Office of the Vice President
and Provost and ITC.
people in the School of
Architecture and the departments of art, drama and anthropology
have joined efforts to make the much-needed technology become
a reality. By collaborating and identifying our common needs,
we were able to get a lot of resources for the arts precinct that
otherwise we could not get, said Kirk Martini, an associate
professor of architecture who spearheaded the project.
a tremendous cultural phenomenon going on, said Martini,
who has incorporated a Web-based format into his teaching of structural
engineering for more than six years. Students in 1996 were
disoriented by it. In 2001, its a different story. The students
are much more willing to trust technology.
only are students trusting the technology, they are exploring
its many uses and pushing its limits. They present their research,
not only to the professor, but also to the whole class. Its
the first time everyone in the class looks at everyone elses
work and comments [on it], said John Dobbins, professor
of art and a self-described technology convert. The technology
brings the studio concept of teaching into the lecture class and
provides life-long learning skills they will take with them into
any field, he said.
by expertise gained through Grounds-wide initiatives such as the
provost offices Teaching and Technology Initiative and Lilly
Teaching Fellowships, and with the assistance of the Robertson
Media Center and the Institute
for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, faculty members
also are meeting the new challenges and opportunities presented
this technology, more time was spent talking about visual elements
without being able to see them, said Shawn Evans, drama
department technical director who teaches courses in stage management.
The multimedia enhancements to our classroom have enabled
us as teachers to better display and deconstruct visual material.
and students in architecture and the arts have embraced digital
technology and its ability to improve their presentations. Kathryn
Rohe, associate professor of drama, uses PowerPoint to create
lectures for her costume design classes.
PowerPoint application allows me to manipulate images and, combined
with the digital projection, it really improves the content and
clarity of the course, she said.
these new ways to show old information, Rohe shows costume details
and incorporates sound and video to enhance the character of the
various historic periods. The visual impact is great,
class, Rohe puts the lecture on the class toolkit Web page
and for the first time her students can view the images outside
of class for review and study.
there is a significant amount of time required to create the PowerPoint
presentation, content is easily updated and improved. I
feel I have more time to do additional research and constantly
expand the amount of material I can present, as well as delve
deeper into the topic, Rohe said.
major asset of the new classrooms is the ability to do large-scale
projection of Web sites. More than five years ago, Marion Roberts,
associate professor of art, began to create an instructional Web
site using her many years of researching Englands Salisbury
Cathedral. Her earlier attempts to project the cathedral site
in a classroom were a disaster.
technology has advanced so much, now it is easy, she said.
also is excited by the ease and ability to leap from one medium
to another. She can begin a lecture using slides, supplement with
a video or hold a slide on the screen while she projects images
from her Web site.
whose interdisciplinary collaborative Pompeii Forum Project has
received wide acclaim, says that the technology has not only transformed
his research but also his teaching in the classroom. Using simultaneous
representation of six or more slides, each may be viewed larger
or smaller, and in some instances can be offered in a panoramic
view to show the ruins of this city buried by an earthquake in
AD 79. QuickTime videos provide tours of Pompeii with other scholars.
allows us to bring the evidence back with us in a way that is
alive, said Dobbins. The site becomes a laboratory
of a completed architectural and planning solution right here
The impact also is significant for drama students and professors.
The use of digital technology to build and operate the visual
aspects of theater design and construction is changing, not only
professional theater, but theater education as well.
a cutting-edge program in theater, the U.Va. Department
of Drama uses technology on a daily basis as both pedagogical
and production tools, Evans said. He now uses the new technology
in every class, relying on the Universitys resources, including
the Web, ITCs instructional toolkit, and the Robertson Media
technology facilitates the transition from the theoretical to
the practical. Using the new video projectors, Evans is able to
show videos of past drama productions so that students in his
stage management class can practice calling cues. This is a first
step in Evans plan to create a stage management toolkit
in which each show would have its own Web page with time-lapsed
sequencing, giving students a comprehensive view of the life of
Bloom, drama professor, says that the technology allows students
in his set design class to quickly move beyond the frustrations
of their own drawing limitations, to problem solving and final
are jazzed by it, he said. They are enthusiastic to
show their work.