Have you ever wondered how students at UC San Diego use technology to fuel their learning? Since Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is one of the largest providers of technology to UC San Diego students both inside and outside of the classroom, we took it upon ourselves to go straight to the source. Meet April Kim, a Bioinformatics major in the class of 2013 at Eleanor Roosevelt College. She might be a self-described daredevil, but when it comes to using technology she is a typical Triton.
Like many students at UC San Diego, April has used clickers in her courses—including in an upper division Genetics class in Winter 2013. “It keeps me engaged, especially when you have to get the answers correct,” April said. She thinks that it is a good way for professors to make sure that students attend class, but that the benefits were not limited to boosting attendance. “On the student side it’s a better way to actually pay attention and learn material rather than just taking notes,” April said, “I think it’s a pretty good thing.”
April has also used Ted in a number of her classes. One of the features of Ted that she thinks is beneficial for students is how it functions as a communications hub. April also appreciates the ability to get assignment grades in Ted so she can evaluate how she is doing in a course without having to contact her TA or professor.
Outside the classroom, April has been a frequent user of ACMS computer labs on campus ever since she set foot on campus. During her first two years at UC San Diego April looked up computer labs online to find one that had the operating system and software that she needed. As time passed she learned where the labs were and which ones had what. “I like that there are plenty [of labs] and that they are easily accessible,” April said. She has used Macintosh, Windows, and Linux operating systems throughout her studies at UC San Diego.
One service that April has yet to try is the Go Virtual online computing lab. While she has not used the service, once she heard about the software available in Go Virtual for completing coursework, April described the ability to use MATLAB and Photoshop from anywhere as “pretty awesome.”
April has also used the ACMS Help Desk and spoke highly of the service that she received there. “It’s really cool. My roommate’s computer actually crashed so we ended up bringing it here and so they did a pretty hardcore maintenance [on it] and gave us advice,” April said, “Typically it would cost a lot of money to take it to an actual computer place just to get an evaluation, but it was really nice because it was free and we got our answers.” April was able to easily find information about getting support from the Help Desk through the ACMS website.
There you have it: the candid opinions on technology at UC San Diego from your average student who swims with sharks, skydives, and bungee jumps between classes. Thanks for all your thoughts April and good luck after graduation in the spring!
The Student Scoop is a series of articles that finds out from students how they are using technology provided by Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. Keep checking back for more interviews to find out what students really think about technology at UC San Diego inside and outside of the classroom!