University Center Opens SimHub Immersive Technology Center; Becomes Leader in Emerging Social and Immersive Technologies

Clemson’s Bronack introduced as director, will lead research and training in emerging technologies.

Greenville, S.C. (September 10, 2010) – The University Center of Greenville (UCG) has opened the doors to its newest and most innovative training center for Upstate educators and students. SimHubTM Immersive Technology Center offers opportunities for faculty and students to gain experience with emerging social and immersive technologies in order to enhance education.

UCG also announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Bronack of Clemson University as the founding director of SimHub. UCG employees Helen Landmesser and David Snipes will be joining Bronack in SimHub project management and faculty support.

“Education is about adapting to a changing world,” said Dr. Bronack. “We have a generation of “digital natives” arriving at school, while many educators are “digital immigrants” and are having to adapt their teaching methods in order to keep up with the changing technology our students experience and expect. SimHub offers access to the necessary tools to advance educational delivery, and we are very excited about how this access will propel Greenville forward.”

“We are excited about the development of SimHub and creation of such a collaborative, technology-rich environment for educators,” said Dr. Fred Baus, UCG President & CEO. “SimHub will continue to place UCG at the forefront of technologies for teaching and advance new models for immersive learning.”

SimHub_GrandOpening_047As a central resource where faculty and students can investigate the teaching, research and outreach potential of emerging social and immersive technologies, SimHub staff will train others with 21st century tools such as virtual worlds, simulations, serious games and augmented reality, as well as create interaction and true collaboration through technology.

Many of the technological developments now available at SimHub are used in other applications nationally, such as business and government, and are now being translated to the education arena. SimHub_GrandOpening_042For example, the University Center has contracted with the University of Central Florida and with the Orlando-based global training division of Lockheed Martin Corporation to promote the use of simulation and other technologies for student teachers, engineering managers and a variety of other professional practitioners.

Lisa Dieker, University of Central Florida professor and Exceptional Education Ph.D. Program Coordinator, said, “The University of Central Florida created the TeachME™ simulator to strengthen teacher education for our own university programs and across the country. We are excited to partner with the University Center of Greenville as our first multi-institution partnership - creating the opportunity to impact a large teacher education population. We also look forward to entering into additional program development partnerships with UCG member universities.”

“The technology Lockheed Martin develops to educate and train America’s service members for critical missions are fast becoming the best tools to train our teachers and educate our students,” said Rebecca Moss of Lockheed Martin’s Global Training and Logistics business. “This collaboration between UCG and Lockheed Martin is poised to reinvent the classroom regionally and nationally through its use of immersive and simulation technology.”

In preparation for the new technological developments, UCG joined the Virtual World Consortium (VWC) last fall to expand access for faculty and students into virtual world platforms. SimHub will increase virtual world use for classes in many different applications, such as simulating a traditional setting like a meeting room or creating a 3D shape to outline a complicated process.

SimHub_GrandOpening_141Bruce Rafert, Chairman of the VWC’s Board of Directors, expressed his enthusiasm for the Board’s decision, saying that, “The seven universities and 130 faculty housed at the University Center bring a lot of capability, strength, and growth potential for weaving immersive technologies into the fabric of the Upstate. This partnership positions this region to become a core hub of activity related to research and development in immersive technologies as we bring together the combined resources of the VWC, SimHub and the University Center.”

About University Center of Greenville

The University Center of Greenville is a consortium of higher education institutions dedicated to increasing access to educational opportunities for the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina. UCG offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate degrees through Clemson, Furman, Lander, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina Upstate. For more information, please call 864.250.1111 or visit www.ucgreenville.org.

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