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May 29, 2013

SUCO projects encourage innovation

Staff report
The Daily Star

---- — It happens in virtually every large organization, business ... or university. Someone comes up with a pretty good idea to get something done just a little bit better, and the innovation doesn’t get shared with others who could benefit from it.

A State University of New York program is designed to keep that from happening too often. It got off to an encouraging start last year, and seeks to improve upon that this year.

Two SUNY Oneonta projects are among 33 recipients of the 2013 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG) program that encourages campus innovations and initiatives that have the potential to be copied throughout the SUNY system. Last year, SUNY Oneonta received one grant from the program.

“Having received Innovative Instruction Technology Grant funding for ‘Big Data on Smaller Campuses’ in 2012, we are pleased to see SUNY’s investment in this project continue,” SUNY Oneonta Provost Maria Thompson said. “This collaborative effort — partnering with IBM, Penn State and UB — puts our students at the forefront of an emerging field and demonstrates SUNY Oneonta’s strategic commitment to teaching, learning and scholarship.

“It’s equally exciting to receive IITG funding for a second collaborative initiative,” Thompson said. “‘Enriching Teaching Field Experience Through Technology’” extends a relationship between SUNY Oneonta and the Morris School District. This project, developed by Dr. Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, associate professor of secondary education, provides yearlong field experiences for SUNY Oneonta students to integrate technology with instruction in high school English classes. Our hope is that their work will lead to new strategies for pre-service teacher assessment that can be used in teacher education programs across New York state.”

SUNY faculty and staff across all disciplines can apply for IITG grants. Recipients will openly share project outcomes. The 2012 program resulted in 117 grant proposals and 48 awarded grants.

“The IITG program has enabled our campuses to enhance the quality of a SUNY education by leveraging our systemness and bringing students the best that technology has to offer,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This program is one of many that exemplify SUNY’s capacity to model innovative instructional practices for higher education nationally and globally. We look forward to seeing these outstanding ideas replicated across SUNY to benefit even more of our students, faculty and staff.”

Of the 93 proposals submitted for this year’s competition, 33 were selected to receive awards. SUNY Oneonta received support these projects, according to the university:

• Virtual Infrastructure for Data Intensive Analysis (VIDIA):

The Center for Computational Research at the University at Buffalo (UB) and SUNY Oneonta will pilot a collaborative virtual community, enabling undergraduate students opportunities to create, manipulate and analyze large multi-terabyte datasets. This extends SUNY Oneonta’s “Big Data on Smaller Campuses,” an IITG-funded collaboration between SUNY Oneonta, UB, Penn State and IBM.

• Enriching Teaching Field Experience Through Technology (Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, associate professor of secondary education):

This project builds upon an established partnership school relationship between SUNY Oneonta and the Morris Central School District. A team of two education students will engage in a field experience that includes the use of technology in instruction for high school English classes over the course of one year.

SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David K. Lavallee said, “The IITG program has already demonstrated significant returns by leveraging funding opportunities, but more importantly, it develops and sustains important faculty and staff collaborations across SUNY in an efficient manner.”