Technology + Personality = Engaged Students

Technology is important, but a little personality can go a long way. Just ask Cyber and Information Security faculty member David Conrad. “We are a technology-based institution,” says Mr. Conrad. “It permeates every program we offer. Our students are used to using technology in the classroom. Now, they’re just using it remotely. But to really have an impact, you have got to bring your personality to these sessions. I try to keep my energy level high and ask my students a lot of questions.”  

Mr. Conard is also using Packet Tracer which is a cross-platform visual simulation tool designed by Cisco Systems that allows users to create network topologies and imitate modern computer networks. The software allows users to simulate the configuration of Cisco routers and switches using a simulated command-line interface. 

Richmond Cyber and Information Security student Christopher Pollock says that in the grand scheme of things, this is something he can easily overcome. After losing both his hands in a farm accident, he received a double hand transplant 10 years ago. “I type slower than everyone else, but I’m making it work. Mr. Conrad, like everybody here, has worked really hard to make this a meaningful experience. He keeps everything lively and makes sure we interact. He won’t move on to the next topic unless he sees us speaking up!” 

Eventually, students will return to campus. Until then, everyone at ECPI University is pulling together to do their best to serve students. ”I think we were uniquely prepared for this situation,” says Richmond/Moorefield campus Electronics Engineering faculty member Dr. Paul Nussbaum. “We’ve been developing and refining some of the education sector’s best practices in technology for more than 15 years and I think it shows.” 

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