ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Ithaca College has started the first week of its fall semester, which will be done entirely through remote instruction.
The school announced in mid-August that it would shift to a fully virtual learning model. IC was planning to start in early September with mostly remote learning and then phase into full, on-campus instruction by Oct.5.
The South Hill school is home to programs like physical therapy, music, performing arts and TV/Radio that rely on hands-on instruction.
Professors have been working the past several months on remote learning options should a student opt for this — or if the school were to go fully virtual, which it has now.
“We’re a hands-on school but the studio now is anywhere in their house or outside their house. The equipment is instead of using traditional cameras is either Zoom or their mobile devices,” says Anthony Adornato, associate professor of Journalism at Ithaca College.
He says his classes, like so many college programs, were thrust into remote instruction back in the spring when COVID-19 shut down programs abruptly and forced them to go virtual.
Now, Adornato says they’re coming into this semester with a more planned out approach, though still not easy.
“They’re also learning to collaborate because there’s a lot of juggling parts when you’re not physically together, so they’re learning how to produce newscast in a very different way,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
The same goes for TV News production classes, like the ones taught by Ithaca College Associate Professor Chrissy Guest.
“There’s a lot of versatility now with several different software, that allows us to do robust collaborations that our industry is doing,” she tells NewsChannel 9.
Guest points out a program that gives her students, wherever they are, full remote access to what amounts to a studio control room.
“Even with a pandemic you turned your TV on and there was programming, so for our students this is real, this is something they have to deal with and they have to learn,” Guest says.
Adornato adds, “Just like newsrooms are producing newscasts remotely, students are now able to do that within our virtual classroom and walk away job-ready.”
Ithaca College Theatre professors are also embracing new technologies to give their students an interactive experience. Guest and her production classes are working with the Theatre Department on this initiative.
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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.