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College in the Age of Technology

IRVING – In a world of Facebook, Twitter, blogging and the like, using emerging technology to help students get information for research papers and class projects seems only natural. North Lake College is taking this to a new level at its satellite campuses where students communicate with librarians, counselors, and other professionals at the Central Campus in Las Colinas using a futuristic teleconferencing system known as MOVI. The system provides real-time, face-to-face communications between all four campuses for a variety of communication needs. 

At North Lake's North Campus in Coppell the Learning Resource Center houses the MOVI system. Charley Hughes, Circulation and Testing Center Representative, recalls the first time a student used the system. "I noticed a student in the hall one day working on her laptop. I asked her if she was doing her homework and she told me she was having trouble writing her paper." Hughes told her about the new MOVI system that lets students talk to librarians. After speaking to a librarian at the Central Campus for about fifteen minutes, the student had received all the help she needed.

The MOVI teleconferencing system, which consists of a computer, webcam, internet access and a Tandberg account, similar to a messenger account, allows North Lake employees to provide students with the same quality service no matter what location the students are at over the internet.

The campuses' ability to use real-time, face-to-face video and audio communication allows the campuses to provide almost immediate "personalized communication" with students, as well as employees. "The advantage for students, says George Marquez, Dean of the Wildfire Institute, is they don't have to travel to the Central Campus to receive the same level of expertise. The real-time, face-to-face interaction feels the same as being in person, and reduced travel time means improving the green footprint of the college campuses." 

North Lake, in collaboration with the Dallas County Community College District Service Center, began the first extensive district funded pilot of the Tandberg Mobile Visualizing teleconference system known as MOVI in June 2010. North Lake currently has MOVI set-ups in various departments across the campuses such as, the Learning Resource Center and Executive Dean's offices at the North, South and West Campuses, and in the Library, Admissions/Degree Audit, Disability Services, Veteran Affairs, Counseling, Business Services and Wildfire Institute offices at the Central Campus.

A major advantage of the MOVI teleconferencing system is the opportunity to provide clear and quick face-to-face solutions that can provide immediate answers for both students and employees. The system also as the ability to connect multiple MOVI users at once allowing collaboration between colleagues to provide the best possible solution to students.

The MOVI system at North Lake College will continue to benefit employees and students as the campuses continue to grow and as people increasingly turn to technology to gain information and assistance, by reducing travel time, thus aiding in sustainability efforts, and increasing intra-campus face-to-face communication without sacrificing quality.



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Editor's note: for interviews, photo opportunities and media support, please contact Andrea Ciminelli, marketing and advertising coordinator, at 972-273-3005, or the North Lake College Public Information Office, 972-273-3004.

North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College system. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College system without regard to race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex or sexual orientation.