In September, St. Edward opened the Cisco Telepresence Lab, a state-of-the-art technology that will present opportunities for Edsmen to participate in interactive learning activities across a range of subject areas. This technology aims to enhance international mindedness, global awareness and cross-cultural understanding in the St. Edward community and, as Director of International Programs Mr. Michael Perrins says, “it will further help our kids to develop empathy and a wider worldview in a process that will work both ways.”
The technology was donated by MCPc, a Cleveland-based technology company that specializes in distance technology among other things. The company was divesting itself of assets and didn’t need the system anymore, and members of the company also have personal ties to St. Edward through alumni, current parents, and members of the broader St. Edward community.
The equipment just became operational in September, so a lot of the nooks and crannies of the technology are still being figured out, but it has already been used successfully in a number of ways during its small period of existence. Thus far, the Telepresence Lab has already been used extensively by the Model UN program, playing an integral role in the planning and running of the CLEIMUN15 Conference and at Open House events, showing prospective students how the technology works through connecting with other St. Ed’s students at another venue downtown in conjunction with students from Mr. Perrins’ old school in the UK (who now attend University).
Dr. O’Linn expands on the academic importance of the Telepresence Lab, saying “The tools as well as the connections will bolster St. Edward’s ability to offer an education that is authentic, relevant, and global in nature. For example, I’ve recently been in contact with leaders at Basile Moreau School in Haiti discussing opportunities to further our relationship. I envision a day where the students at Basile Moreau School, our fellow Holy Cross school in Haiti, are as familiar to us (or more so, perhaps) than those in our diocese at Archbishop Hoban or Gilmour Academy, bringing a daily presence to our our global family of Holy Cross.”
The Telepresence Lab is an exciting and important new asset for St. Edward that spells a bright future for international mindedness and global communication at St. Edward. As Mr. Kubacki puts it, “We’re excited by its capabilities and we will discover many uses that aren’t yet apparent as we all become comfortable with this awesome technology.”