Medicine Hat College (MHC) launched a new class in their information technology (IT) program that is proving to be a popular choice amongst students.
Emerging technologies provides students an opportunity to sample a variety of technologies from home automation and advanced web design to quadcopters and gaming design. There are over 30 topics available and students are able to sign up for six during the year.
Steve Letkeman, instructor in IT, explains that it is a fun and interactive way to learn.
“The quadcopter module is a popular choice because it’s cool, it is really a robot with propellers and it flies, however students learn a lot more from this technology than they may expect. They learn how to download new firmware, make configuration changes and about the electronics that are inside it,” says Letkeman. “They learn how it communicates, how to control it and about the data that gets transmitted back and forth.”
Letkeman explains that the projects in the class vary and are truly remarkable. One of his students is taking the gaming module and is using the Microsoft Kinect Sensor to create a two player, battleship game that uses voice recognition and hand gestures to move the pieces and send missiles to their opponent’s screen. Students also are provided access to Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles so that they can experiment and write software while getting use to a virtual reality environment.
“Nothing that they are learning is lost, they may never go into a particular module as a career but the skills they are learning through programming, configuring, downloading software, all these things, are applicable to any kind of career in computer science,” says Letkeman. “For some it also is a way to test-drive a particular specialty and see if they are interested in pursuing it further.”
Letkeman explains that he already has plans in place to expand the class to include robotics in the upcoming year.
“I think people traditionally view IT as a career spent writing software or repairing computers, however that isn’t necessarily true and that is apparent in this class. There are a lot of new and unique directions you can take with this program and we hope to be part of a student’s journey in discovering their best fit,” says Letkeman.
To learn more about the information technology program or to see what’s new at MHC visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
Students and attendees of Makerspace YXH view UAV technology.
Interested in seeing more photos from in the classroom of IT? View the Flickr album.
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