California State University, San Bernardino

OktoberTech! event brings new gadgets and tech for students

CSUSB’s Information Technology Services (ITS) presented an OktoberTech! event that ran from Oct. 17-20, showcasing different technological resources and devices available to students.

OktoberTech! began with an ITS Tech Fair and Download Party on Tuesday, Oct. 17 near the Technology Support Center on the main campus. Attendees were allowed to visit tech-based booths that featured virtual reality, artificial intelligence gadgets like Alexa and Google Home, and software downloads useful to students.

Christine Fundell (left) and Leon McNaught (right) help students at their ATAC booth. Photo courtesy of Crystal Harrell.

One booth on display was the Assistive Technology & Accessibility Center (ATAC), where students were provided with instructions on how to create audio versions of their textbooks and sync it through various cloud storage services.

“We love participating [in OktoberTech!] because not everyone is aware that these features are available to use,” said Leon McNaught, the Accessible Technology Initiative Coordinator. “We have a lot of surprised people who come by and say, ‘I wish I knew about this last quarter or before finals.’”

A virtual reality experience was a hit during the OktoberTech! event. Photo courtesy of Crystal Harrell.

CSUSB’s technology partners, Dell, Amazon, and the Coyote Bookstore, were also present to offer informational and interactive services with their products. Those who attended were able to get a card stamped from each table to become eligible to receive free food and prizes.

“I think it’s definitely important to inform students of all the tech services the campus provides for them,” said Coyote Bookstore representative Tony Chabolla. “A lot of people don’t know that we provide discounts on our Apple computers and we can help fix their computers. If they’re on campus and they need help right away, they don’t have to go far to get support.”

Students gather to learn about different programs and computer software. Photo courtesy of Crystal Harrell.

Oct. 18 was the day of the ITS Tech Open House and Professional Development workshops. Several opportunities for CSUSB faculty were made available at the Staff Development Center to learn about technological advancements involving the classroom environment.

Two kinds of software that were demonstrated at the event were Qualtrics, a survey software available to the CSUSB community, and Zoom, a program that makes hosting an online meeting or interview simple.

Even the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus had the chance to participate in OktoberTech! on Oct. 19, where the campus’s tech specialists and Dell representatives held their own Open House in the Roger Gateway Building lobby.

The first day of OktoberTech! offered games for attendees to win prizes. Photo courtesy of Crystal Harrell.

The four-day OktoberTech! event concluded on Oct. 20 with a Tech Training and Learning seminar at the Pfau Library basement.

Attendees got a chance to learn about the latest advancements in teaching and learning innovation with the help of the university’s Academic Technologies and Innovation (AcTI) team. Some of the tools demonstrated at the tech training were One Touch Recording, 360 video, 3D printing, and Lightboard.

Sean Hamilton, one of the members of the development team for the CSUSB Mobile app, believes that students should familiarize themselves with these new technologies for their own benefit.

“It’s good to know about what’s at your disposal, and the best reason of all is that they’re free to use,” stated Hamilton.

The CSUSB mobile apps development team is composed of students and supported by the Vital and expanded Technology Initiative (VET) Grant.

The team has created many apps to benefit the student population, such as Red Folder, an app designed to help students at any CSU campus who may be in danger of hurting themselves, and even a few mobile games such as BubbleShot Alpha and SlideWinder.

The OktoberTech! event successfully emphasized the growing influence that technology has on the way students participate in their college learning experience. It also demonstrated the lesser known services that Coyotes can use to make the most of their time at CSUSB.