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Friday, January 22, 2021

In touch with technology

For some, the tech world may seem like a futile struggle.

New innovations are constantly coming to life just when users become comfortable with what they have. Companies release gadgets like smartwatches before some have figured out how to use their phones.

For others, technology may be like a second language that rolls right off the tongue. To them, being able to navigate devices without a hitch comes naturally and the newest software are intriguing.

“We have a bunch of workshops and all the different software for free, this includes all the Microsoft products and all the Adobe products. [We can] teach you how to use them and we have different levels for those who want more specific knowledge.”

Jagi Natarajan

Whether you find yourself tangled in the World Wide Web of new gimmicks or just wanting to talk computer code with someone who understands that language, the Student Technology Center can help.

The center provides equipment and gear for rent, as well as individual and group training workshops. These workshops are designed to help students become proficient in the ever-changing technical language.

The center is also employing new technology for student use. Students have the opportunity to use high-tech equipments such as virtual reality goggles and 3D printing.

Freshmen Jagi Natarajan is an employee at the center and helps students check out and learn about equipment.

“I think [the Student Technology Center] is just a resource that is so useful now. You can’t get through school nowadays without knowing how some kind of technology works,” Natarajan said. “It’s a place where [students] can come to gain knowledge or get help or just have a workspace.”

Two of the most rewarding aspects of the Student Technology Center are the workshops and the one-on-one tutoring sessions, Natarajan said.

“We have a bunch of workshops and all the different software for free,” Natarajan said. “This includes all the Microsoft products and all the Adobe products. [We can] teach you how to use them and we have different levels for those who want more specific knowledge.”

Students can schedule individual tutoring sessions to learn more about something that may not be offered in one of the workshops with someone who specializes in a particular skill.

Sophomore and center employee Alex Ayala has yet to remember a time the center couldn’t assist someone who needed help.

“Even obscure stuff like coding languages; we have guys who know that,” Ayala said.

Staff are in the process of setting up another resource to help students get what they need. Its name? ALEXA.

ALEXA is a wireless voice-controlled speaker that responds when you call her name. ALEXA can be also be programmed to answer certain questions, in this case pertaining to the Student Technology Center.

ALEXA will make it easier for students to find the help that they need in specific categories of technology almost immediately.

“Students by themselves can go up and ask questions about what workshops there are and when a specific workshop is,” Ayala said. “Or when is someone proficient in a specific category working.”

ALEXA will be used as a supplementary guide for students to use when immediate help is not available Natarajan said. It will be set up outside the Student Technology Center where students can ask ALEXA who is available on staff to help them depending on the skill resources they need.

Freshman Courtney Scott also works at the Student Technology Center.

Whether it’s learning computer programs or just basic computer skills, the center is designed to help students in a collaborative atmosphere so that students are capable on their own, Scott said.

The Student Technology Center above all is a resource for students to use for those struggling with technology, Ayala said. It is also an education station for those who want to learn more about up-to-date technology and what they can do with it.

“We help students who aren’t as technology savvy,” Ayala said. “But beyond that we help students be more creative with their projects and give students the assets they need.”

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