Professor to attend conference for technological improvement

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    A professor has been appointed to a national conference dedicated to improving the greater Fort Worth area for both residents and their wallets.Larry Kitchens, director of the Center for Instructional Services, was recently appointed to the information and technology committee as part of the National League of Cities Conference.

    The committee will address issues related to providing improved cable service to homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, electronic voting practices and the use of technology as an educational tool.

    Kitchens’ appointment came directly from the president of the NLC, and he was one of the four representatives chosen from Texas. Other representatives chosen were from Plano, Dallas and Arlington.

    According to the NLC Web site, 1,600 cities are represented from around the nation and 18,000 other cities use the results from the NLC to improve their facilities.

    Kitchens said his main concern is the control over broadcasting companies within cities, which, in the last six years, has been removed from local city officials’ power.

    “We are talking about a powerful communication tool,” Kitchens said. “How many of us rely on cable companies for not only television service but for broadband connections? If someone has a problem with the programming of their cable company, they aren’t going to call Austin for a problem they have in Hurst.”

    The conference will take place in Washington, D.C., March 10 through March 14. Several speakers will be at NLC including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s “This Week.”

    Deana Muirheid, manager of media support services for Instructional Services, said she is enthusiastic about Kitchens’ appointment to the NLC as his position at TCU makes him a good choice for what the conference hopes to achieve.

    “He is the ideal person for a committee such as this because he is the person responsible for observing the needs of the classroom and implementing the tools which will improve the environment where students learn,” she said.

    Muirheid said Kitchens has been dealing with issues regarding instructional support for classrooms such as a podcasting program, allowing students to download supplemental lectures of the classes they already attend in order to help students learn within the last decade.

    “He’s always been open to new suggestions and things such as the podcasting demonstrate that he has always been really good at working with new ideas based on student and faculty input,” Muirheid said. “So his appointment to the NLC makes sense since it will involve a lot oF the same things.