UNIT hosts Tech Fair

Julie Balzarini

“Challenging Times and the role of IT in Education” is the theme of the fifth annual Technology Fair, featuring over 50 leading technology vendors.

The fair is being held today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m in Connelly Center and is open to the entire Villanova community, as well as the many colleges, universities and secondary schools in the surrounding area.

In addition to two keynote speakers, there are vendor and Villanova presentations throughout the day on a variety of technologies and topics. The vendors are available to answer questions, provide information and demonstrate their products.

Vendors include Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, CampusHP, Canon, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.

“We actively try to get vendors that the students might be interested in because we’re trying to get more student participation,” said Joan M. Lesovitz, Director of Instructional Technology for the University. “We actually have a vendor waitlist.”

There are refreshments, giveaways and numerous door prizes, including a Nintendo Wii, Dell Laptop, Lenovo Netbook and Canon Digital cameras.

New this year, XSE GoServices, a vendor that provides copiers and printers, is sponsoring the XSE Tuition Stimulus Contest, where a participant can win $20,000.

“We’re giving away a lot of really nice things like backpacks and Villanova wear,” Lesovitz said. “Many of the vendors usually have giveaways at their tables. Last year Microsoft gave out student software packages and Apple gave out iTunes gift cards.”

Admission is free, but registration is required at the entrance to qualify for the XSE Tuition Stimulus Contest and door prizes. Villanova faculty, staff and students may use their WildCard to register.

Numerous vendor presentations are taking place throughout Connelly Center, including one by Apple on the role of the iPhone and iPod Touch in higher education and one by Falvey Library on VUFind, the new library catalog search system.

“It’s interesting to go around and see the different vendors and presentations and see how education will be affected by technology,” said senior Michael Basquill, who has worked on the fair for the last three years. “I like seeing how Villanova will be changed by technology in the future.”

Two keynote speakers, Carol Vallone and Mark David Milliron, are giving presentations relevant to the theme.

“The two main speakers are going to be talking about technology and how it’s changing with education between the financial impacts and changes in education styles,” said Lesovitz.

Vallone was the CEO of WebCT from 1999 until 2005, when it was obtained by Blackboard. As CEO, Vallone directed WebCT’s overall strategic direction and all facets of its global business operations. By the end of her term, more than 1,800 institutions around the world were using WebCT’s course management system to assist their online learning programs.

Presently, Vallone is a member of the Board of Directors of Wimba, a leading provider of collaboration tools and applications to the online education market and the President and CEO of GreatPaths. She will speak in the Connelly Cinema at 1 p.m.

Milliron, is an award-winning leader, speaker, consultant and author known for exploring leadership development, future trends, learning strategies and the human side of technology change.

Milliron serves as Board Chair for the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education and as a Trustee for Western Governors University. He is also the founder and CEO of the private consulting and service group, Catalyze Learning International.

Last year’s event included 56 vendor exhibits, 11 Villanova departments, as well as various academic and corporate presentations.

The event was attended by over 700 people representing 68 high schools, colleges and universities across the region.