Communications department invests in technology

February 4th, 2010

For some students, their experiences at college are some of the most important they will ever have. At John Carroll, students have the opportunity to make the most of their education by using the mass of technological equipment available. This includes digital cameras, graphics machines, video recorders and audio recorders as well as having the advantage of a television studio at their disposal. The television studio also hosts JCU’s student-run television channel, TV-4, and many students take classes that allow them to learn how to use this equipment to gain important skills for future careers.

Lisa Lewis, manager of the JCU television studio, said that all of the technological equipment that is used is completely digital and state of the art. She said, “John Carroll has had a TV studio for many years. The studio was renovated in July 2007 and all of the equipment was [also] updated.”

The relatively new equipment includes a switcher, audio board, a video frame NTSC decoder, character generator that puts images on the TV screen, and studio cameras.

Lewis added that students are also able to borrow media equipment. She said, “Students can [borrow] equipment including cameras, digital audio recorders, tripods and microphones by going to room 33 in the O’Malley Center.” However, in order to borrow any equipment students must be enrolled in a Communications class, and equipment is usually loaned for up to two days at a time.

JCU’s TV-4 currently produces several television shows including “Dish,” an entertainment/news program, “Common Grounds,” a talk show with a multi-cultural spin, “The Sports Show,” and two other shows currently being developed for this semester.

Hannah Ellison, an international student at JCU this year, said that she was impressed by the amount of technological equipment that is available to students. She said, “I took [a] sports broadcasting [class] last semester, and I really enjoyed it. We had so much equipment available and we weren’t limited by any means.” Ellison felt working with hands-on media equipment is very important because it can be added to her resume. She said, “Employers always look for students who are experienced.”

JCU students also have the opportunity to use other AV equipment. Senior Meghan O’Keefe took a business and professional speaking class last semester and used video conferencing equipment. She said, “[The] class was one of the best classes I have ever taken at John Carroll, not only because of the content of the class, but because of the technology we used. We used video conferencing for one of our speeches and it was really useful.”

The video conferencing equipment is set up in the Dolan Center in room E347, and is linked to room 48 in the Administration Building. Both computers are connected by digital equipment so that students can give conference speeches from Dolan to students in the Administration building.The system works primarily like Internet-based video conferencing software Skype.

“By learning to use that equipment, I feel much more prepared for the real world and for a real business-like atmosphere,” O’Keefe said.

JCU is also home to other media technology, used in JCU’s very own radio station, WJCU. Senior Katy Finucane, who hosts her own radio show on Tuesday nights, said, “Nearly all of the equipment that we use is digital nowadays; stations have all moved away from analog. The equipment is very easy to use too, and once you’re trained you can apply to have your own show or host a show with another student.”