Faculty technology projects awarded

Faculty technology projects awarded Gov. Bill Janklow's Teaching With Technology program will award $1,260,880 to 59 faculty members of South Dakota's six state universities for computer-based projects this summer.

Now in its third year, the program encourages state university faculty to develop skills and methods to better use computer technology in their daily courses. With this summer's group, more than 170 faculty members will have participated since 1998.

Janklow has invested more than $3 million so far in the program, which pays faculty up to an additional 33 percent of their respective salaries in return for spending the summer working on a self-designed project.

The ultimate goal of the governor's program is producing university students who are trained in modern technology, especially students in the education field who plan to become K-12 teachers.

"Before we can teach our students we must teach our teachers and encourage them to become innovative in using technology in their classrooms," Janklow said. "We have wired our schools, we offer the summer technology academies for our K-12 teachers, and the Teaching With Technology program at the universities is one more part of the big picture.

"What we're putting in place with all of the different pieces is a system, a way of making sure that technology becomes part of the institution of providing a good education."

The 59 award winners were selected from 90 proposals. Grading the proposals was a team of four professors with expertise in instructional technology from New Mexico State University, Ohio University, Oklahoma State University and Troy State University (Alabama).

The award pays for three months of salary for a faculty member to work on a project during the summer, plus up to $5,000 for project expenses.

Winners from The University of South Dakota and a brief description of their project area are:

Peggy Larson, practice of caring; Darlene Fett, music for elementary teachers; Stephen Yarbrough, advanced electronic music; Marcia Reisetter, qualitative research methods; Marilyn Urquhart, communication needs for special learners; Ray Thompson, web page development; Naik Bijayananda, computer analysis for business; Stephen Hildreth, earth science; and Christopher Keating, elementary astronomy.

According to USD Academic Affairs Vice President Donald Dahlin, the technology program has had a major impact on faculty.

"This is a terrific program that is having a dramatic impact in helping our faculty use technology to improve their teaching," said Dahlin. "Certainly that will be the case for this year's award recipients as well, and the breadth of disciplines represented by the winners insures that students throughout the University will be the real winners."

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