For the 7th time, ConnectKentucky honored the Commonwealth’s technology leaders at its 2013 Tech Day, held Thursday at The George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium in Griffin Hall at Northern Kentucky University. The 2013 Tech Day event featured discussions on technology’s impact on education, history, and culture, federal policy updates, and a keynote speech by noted venture capitalist David Jones, Jr.
Tech Day allows the state’s broadband leaders to gather and discuss the latest developments in, and impacts of, broadband technology across the state. The event, held in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society, was sponsored by Humana, tw telecom, and AT&T.
“Technology creates an environment for learning and improving quality of life. We need to make sure connectivity is available on campus … and off campus,” said Tom Ferree, president and COO of ConnectKentucky parent organization Connected Nation. “Making sure broadband is accessible is not the only piece of the puzzle. We must factor in the workforce. Forty percent of businesses report it’s difficult or very difficult to find employees with necessary training. Digital learning programs that boost broadband adoption and use are a central piece to cultivating the best and brightest in our communities.”
NKU won several awards at the event:
Small Business Technology Award: Instant Access Tours/Battery Row Productions
NKU Master of Arts in Public History alumni Steve Oldfield and Sean Thomas won the award for their innovative use of digital technology to bring history to life. Instant Access Tours is helping Kentucky towns preserve and promote their history online; converting digital maps and brochures into virtual walking tours that can accessed online or by using your smart phone. Its first tour commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Augusta with a website, www.battleofaugusta.org, and a 10‐site walking tour that included signage with QR codes so visitors could access the online content via their smartphones.
Postsecondary Institution Technology Award: Northern Kentucky University
Northern Kentucky University (NKU) needed to provide access to discipline-specific software for students and faculty. In the past, converting classrooms into computer labs, purchasing desktop computers and loading campus-licensed software met the need but that solution took up physical space, was limited to the number of computers provided, and required students to be on campus during business hours. The implemented solution was a virtual desktop that allows students, faculty, and staff to log into what appears to be a “computer lab machine” via the Internet from any personal device. This solution has revolutionized the way that NKU provides software and has changed how students access to required materials and allows students to be more productive anywhere, anytime. Benefits include: expanded replacement cycle of computers; increased speed of new software installations and security; and reduced electrical usage with more energy efficient servers instead of desktops.
To access presentations and watch the livestream of the event, visit the ConnectKentucky website.
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