Both Widener Law Campuses utilize vast amounts of technology in the classroom - from smart boards to courtroom video manipulation. Students probably don’t even realize the work that goes on behind the scenes to make everything run. Luckily, students and faculty on the Delaware and Harrisburg Campuses can rely on Barbara Mindell, educational technology specialist, to make it all happen.
Mindell is the person in charge of educational technology for the School of Law. She admits that technology has always been close to her heart; even before coming to Widener Law she was the director of academic computing for another college.
In her role at Widener, Mindell is responsible for making sure all of the technology programs faculty need in the classroom are available, assisting them with it, and helping them use it more effectively. She primarily works with the faculty, but all of her efforts benefit the law students. “Using technology brings material to students in different ways. They get to read it in textbooks, see it on video, discuss it in class, and manipulate it in different ways. In a way students have a more robust environment to learn, which gives them a real value, as everyone learns a different way,” she said. She believes it also helps to keep students interested and motivated when learning. “It also adds convenience to their lives, as materials are now always available to students in real time in one location using learning management tools.”
No day is ever the same for Mindell, which is one of the reasons she enjoys her work. “It’s always something new and exciting,” she said. “We are always trying to think of new ways to best hold a student’s attention.” She spends a lot of time building best practices and is currently organizing a web page for faculty that will include a list of available resources available to the faculty, better ways to enhance the material or use tools more effectively, as well as instructions on various technologies including smartboards and document cameras.
“I love working with faculty,” she said. “Showing them how to present information and watching them get excited about it is very rewarding. It’s also fun to brainstorm new ways to introduce information to the students with them.” Mindell has an advantage, as she can also visualize things from a student’s perspective, as she is currently pursing her master’s in instructional technology at George Washington University.
Off campus, this Wynnewood, Pa. resident, doesn’t have much free time with school and work, but she is still a techie at heart. “Everything I do involves some aspect of technology.” She does however; enjoy weekend trips to the mountains with her husband, as she loves the outdoors. Mindell is also looking forward to spending time with her children over the holidays.
If anyone on the Delaware or Harrisburg Campus has a question for Barbara, you can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org