George Mason University’s Instructional Technology Program has hired a new director of Classroom and Lab Technologies, Tim Murphy, who will oversee the implementation of new learning technology in Mason’s classrooms.

“Most of our work is done behind the scenes, in that students are our primary audience, they’re our customers, and indirectly our customers are faculty,” Murphy said. “So what we do is we try to aid and support the faculty’s need for instruction who ultimately are the ones who are dealing day-to-day with the students.”

Murphy was a business owner and served three universities before arriving at Mason in July from Phoenix, Ariz. His job involves overseeing learning technologies in all classrooms on the three Mason campuses. CaLT helps manage seven public computer labs, provides support for faculty and students with classroom technology and keeps classroom software up-to-date. In addition, CaLT also helps manage the implementation of learning technologies in all Mason buildings that are being renovated or newly constructed, with University Hall being the latest addition to the Fairfax campus.

“University Hall has some of the most state-of-the-art classrooms in the nation,” Murphy said. “University Hall [room] 1201 is called a ‘collaborative classroom’ and is a flagship property that George Mason is extremely proud of.”

According to Murphy, University Hall 1201 contains three projectors on three different parts of the walls, more than 50 feet of white board and moveable furniture which gives students the flexibility of being able to move into groups. Students may also use their laptops to project to their section or group with minimal effort. This is part of a greater goal of making education at Mason an interactive experience, for both professors and students.

Such improvements are making Mason a leader in the area of classroom technology and design. This is possible largely because Mason is one of the few universities in the nation with a Learning Space Design group — which falls under Murphy’s program. The Learning Space Design group focuses on designing classrooms. They will plan specific spaces to include classroom technology as new construction is completed.

CaLT project expediters are currently working on the renovation of Thompson Hall of the Fairfax Campus, collaborating with construction crews and faculty to build each classroom to the proper specifications for all new technology.

With the new technology hitting Mason’s classrooms, Murphy wants to know what the university community thinks. Students may write comments on the back of the end-of-semester teacher evaluations and everyone is encouraged to contact CaLT with comments or concerns.

“I would love to get as much student feedback as possible on any of the services that are provided,” Murphy said, “because sometimes there’s so little feedback that you don’t have an opportunity to make a good choice for the students.”