Tucked away on the first floor of University Hall, most people would walk past the ADP Center and not think twice. But inside this open, collaborative space, one will find plenty of resources to take advantage of when it comes to learning.
The ADP Center for Learning Technologies integrates today’s technology with education here at Montclair State University. From Jamboards that help students improve presentations or workshops on how TikToks can be used in the classroom, the ADP Center has much to offer to both students and professors.
Joe Bavazzano, the director of the center, said why he felt the center was so crucial to education at Montclair State.
“We can collaborate, we can break down silos that are so traditional in higher education,” Bavazzano said. “So, having this melting pot where we can all come together around a common goal of using technology to improve learning [is important].”
The center provides plenty of opportunities to tie in technology with learning. It will regularly hold workshops on different digital skills or topics and is open to all students and professors who need assistance.
Bavazzano described the impact that the center has made on students and professors when it comes to helping them integrate technology with their learning or teaching.
“I think one of the biggest ways that we could impact it is taking that fear of failure away,” Bavazzano said. “Sometimes learning something new can be scary. And sometimes technology comes with a learning curve. So working in a safe, inclusive environment stuck with me because we want to be a safe space for learning.”
An example of a workshop the ADP Center does is a TikTok workshop for educators. One may think that TikTok, an app that is mostly filled with dances and memes, doesn’t have much in common with education. However, Bavazzano gave a recent example of how the two are integrated.
“We did this TikTok video production workshop at our conference and we just had a teacher email us and say, ‘I made six TikTok videos again. My superintendent loves it,’” Bavazzano said. “She’s a Spanish teacher at a high school who is teaching her kids how to salsa. And [she was able to do that] because she came to the ADP Center.”
Irmak “River” Dagistanli, a graduate assistant at the center, gave another example of how the ADP Center helps students with their digital learning needs when it comes to creating an e-portfolio.
“We work with the dietetics department a lot, teaching or facilitating the use of Google Sites and teaching them how they can display their own work and their portfolio, and just meeting the classes and the students with where they’re at in their program,” Dagistanli said.
Jenny Both, a freshman undecided and a student assistant at the center, said she has seen the center especially help students in the College for Education and Human Services, which is closely connected with the center.
“We’ve done various demos with new teaching equipment,” Both said. “We show future teachers different technologies that they’ll be using in their classrooms.”
Professors regularly use the classrooms located in the ADP Center to enhance their learning, especially for education classes. Zoe Burkholder, a professor of educational foundations at Montclair State, uses the technology in the center to sync all her student’s presentations to every computer and show the implications of the technology they’ll soon use in their own classrooms in real-time.
“In this space, [they are] making use of the combination of technology and workspaces that are here,” Burkholder said.
In the long term, Bavazzano said the center aims to make itself more well-known amongst the campus community.
“[A main goal of the ADP Center is to] increase our presence on campus and across campus, working with other colleges and other centers and reaching out to different student organizations,” Bavazzano said. “My goal is to expand until we can’t. We want this space to be full all the time.”
The ADP Center is located in University Hall on the first floor, room 1140. You can learn more about the center or book out a classroom or lab here.