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      Widener FISH Tank Opens

      New Space Fosters Faculty Innovation On Main Campus

      Carlie Sisco, English and creative writing '19

      fish space

      A View Inside the Tank

      A look inside the new Widener FISH Tank in the Wolfgram Memorial Library reveals new technologies and an inspiring environment where faculty can gather to explore innovative teaching methodologies.

      Newly renovated areas of Wolfgram Memorial Library will officially open on Oct. 14 with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. The project has enhanced the library environment for not only the students with an open floorplan on the first floor, but also faculty with the installation of the new Faculty Innovations Support Hub, otherwise known as the FISH Tank.

      A Think Tank for Innovative Teaching

      The FISH Tank, located on the lower level of Wolfgram, is a private room inclusive to all Widener faculty members. The FISH Tank is meant to be a comfortable, collaborative, faculty-friendly domain. It features an interactive whiteboard with the ability to split, share, save and manipulate the screen; a separate room dedicated as a recording space; a full wall that is a writeable surface; several moveable whiteboards; a MAC and a PC; and new furniture donated by COFCO.

      Joanne Caione-Keating, instructional technologist, worked closely in developing the project and currently heads the space. In her position, she aims to support faculty and help them find innovative ways for teaching and learning with or without technology. "We want faculty to have input in decisions that happen in the classroom," Caione-Keating said. "This is a space where we can ask, 'What do you think? Is this a way you could see yourself using technology in the classroom?' "

      Regarding the FISH Tank, Caione-Keating said, "The way that it was constructed, the way that it was built, was that it has to not feel like anything else on campus. It's different, it's new, it's innovative and it's a place where you can try things. It's really meant to be a space where faculty come in and feel like they have the support they need for their teaching."

      Oscar Lanza-Galindo, director of library and instructional services at Widener University, said that there was both a strong need and a want for this project. "I'm really excited about it," Lanza-Galindo said about the final product. "It's something that centralizes a lot of different technologies, but it also incorporates a human element of exploration and the human element of interest and curiosity."

      A Team Effort

      The project was initiated by a capital request and executed through the collaboration of Lanza-Galindo and Caione-Keating with Jerry Pasquariello, director of physical plant; Carl Pierce, executive director of operations; Dr. Anne Krouse, the former associate provost of learning spaces; and many members of the ITS and facilities teams. This group decided to split the funding to enhance both of the library spaces, which are now open for use. The FISH Tank debuted at an Educational Technology Open House on Aug. 26 and has been open since.

      For the time being, faculty are encouraged to use the space by making an appointment through Caione-Keating at 610-499-1345 or jcaione@widener.edu.

      Open House Oct. 14
      The entire campus community is invited to see the new library spaces at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Wolfgram Memorial Library.


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