Media center adapts to new technological change


Ryan Choe

Like a magnet attracting metals, the media center has pulled in staff and students through its doors since RBHS opened in 1973. From its location being in middle of the school, to the plethora of computers, to the media bays, the media center has been a focal point for students to work on homework or chill with friends.
“In the past, I usually went to the media center to do work on the computers,” sophomore Eric Kwon said. “The media center was the main place to go to if you needed to work on a computer, so I would always work on online homework or projects in the media center.”
However, this year all students and staff received personal Dell 3189 latitude laptops. Because of the new laptops, Kwon said he will most likely visit the media center less frequently because he has full-time access to his own laptop.
“I’ll still go to the media center,” Kwon said. “But I now have a personal device that can be used anywhere throughout the school, and not only in the media center. I will probably [still] go to the media center to study, because it has become a quiet and calm place to study.”
Kwon believes he will use his time in the media center more to socialize and talk more with his friends since the media center is an open environment for all people.
On top of being a common location for students to hang out, the library also has media specialists to help students and teachers with any technologic concerns. In previous years, checking out laptops created a lot of traffic in the media center media specialist Beth Shapiro said. As a result of the new individual laptops, Shapiro believes the media center functions much smoother without having to hand out laptops to multiple classes each block.
“I’m not necessarily worried that people won’t come to the media center,” Shapiro said. “Even now the media center is a real center area for the school. With no one checking out the laptops for a class, us media specialists can focus more on helping people with questions on the technology.”
Shapiro said people are constantly asking for help on using ebooks, online resources and new books. She says this will keep the media center a thriving area for the school, and allow for the media specialists to focus more on answering technological issues asked by the students.
[quote cite=”Eric Kwon, sopohomore”]“I’ll still go to the media center, but I now have a personal device that can be used anywhere throughout the school, and not only in the media center.” [/quote]With the laptop checkout process gone, Assistant principal Dr. Tim Baker hopes the media center will function more like a traditional library. Baker says the checkout process of laptops made the media center environment very hectic at times, and now believes there will be less distractions for students who try to work in the media center since students have their own laptops. Baker hopes the media center will provide a productive study environment for students, while still helping them learn and understand new things about their laptops.
“The hope is that the media center will be a quieter environment for student to access to study, kind of like a traditional library,” Baker said. “I’m sure some kids will still want to hang out there before school, during AUT or lunch. But hopefully it will be more of a place for students to actually focus on their academics.”
The media specialists and technology experts have also worked on turning some of the desktop computers in the media center into monitors, which can connect to the personal laptops. The new monitors will allow students to work on two screens at the same time so they can work with many tabs or apps open.
“Simply go to Settings on a personal laptop and open the ‘System’ option in Settings,” media specialist Dennis Murphy said. “Hold down the Windows key plus the ‘P’ key and select the ‘duplicate’ option,” Murphy said. “Then once the media center monitor and personal laptop have synced, then switch the ‘duplicate’ option to ‘extend’. The media center monitor can now function as a monitor for a personal laptop.”
The two-screen feature on the laptops is one new way Murphy and Shapiro plan to help the use of the laptops become more productive and student friendly. Along with the other media specialists, both want to ensure that the media center can serve as a place where resources can help answer questions asked by students and teachers while providing a great work space for class homework and projects.
“We will continue to find good resources and digital literacy,” Shapiro said. “New possible spatial arrangements could possibly be voted by students, but there will for sure be additional programming lessons to teachers and the classrooms. Even without the laptop checkout, the media center will remain a big hang out place and for people to collaborate on projects.”