Three Video Case Studies from Dartmouth
The Computing Technology Venture Fund (CVTF) was created in 1992 by Kip Moore ’68, a member of the student team that created the operating system software for Dartmouth’s original time sharing system. Under the tutelage of John Kemeny and Tom Kurtz, Moore and the other students wrote the BASIC programming language and the Dartmouth Time Sharing System — a feat that’s nearly unimaginable in this era of proprietary operating systems like Windows and Macintosh OS, but that presaged developments like Linux and the trend toward open source software.
Moore’s intention in creating the fund was straightforward: to encourage venturesome and leading innovation and experimentation by faculty in the application of new technologies to the business of teaching. As a venture capitalist, Moore understood the challenges inherent in developing new tools and methods. Why not provide faculty with the means to realize and test their ideas?
Ten years later, the CTVF has funded more than two dozen projects in a diverse range of disciplines, including Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, English, German, Government, Music, Spanish & Portuguese, Speech, Studio Art and the Hood Museum. A number have been incorporated into the curriculum in an ongoing fashion.
The three projects profiled in this video represent the breadth of projects funded, the diverse objectives that were successfully met, and the impact these classes had on the students.
Wireless in the Classroom
Professor Chris Jernstedt’s experience using wireless handheld devices in the classroom — now that Dartmouth has a campus-wide wireless network — has drawn widespread media attention, including a major profile done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The wireless units themselves were donated to Dartmouth by Handspring.
Support for integrating the units into the Learning 22 class itself was done by Computing Services staff working with Professor Jernstedt and his own support staff — team members included experts in faculty curricular development and in wireless networking technology.
Chemistry Lab: Night and Day
Another Computing Services team — including a postdoctoral level molecular biologist who is a member of Kiewit’s Academic Computing group — helped Professor Amy Anderson bring advanced research tools into her CHEM 160 class
Students used the exact same software and hardware as is currently used in cutting edge drug research by major pharmaceutical companies. The computers running this software were available for undergraduate use at all hours of the day or night as part of Computing Services’ standard array of publicly available workstations. A number of the compounds developed by students in the course of their lab work may have been worthy of further research as agents for treating various diseases.
Opera Sings Out Online
Steve Swayne’s Music 37 class, Opera, was transformed by a commonplace application of new technology to an old problem: How can we provide easier access to reserve materials? The answer to Swayne’s challenge seemed simple, in the post-Napster world. Let’s just put the material on the Web. But copyright law prevents such an easy answer. Computing Services staff spent many hours, working on behalf of faculty, obtaining copyright clearances for the content in these sorts of projects.
More than just opera music itself is available to students in Professor Swayne’s class. Students can listen to assigned music, follow along with the libretto in a foreign language or an English translation, and also use additional information pertinent to a particular opera or to the work of the class.