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Entergy Awards Grant to ASU-Beebe Distance Education

Students in the John Deere Agriculture Technology program get a first look at the new Distance Learning equipment purchased from a micro-grant from Entergy Corporation. Pictured, from left, front row: Jake Selvidge, Director of John Deere Agriculture Technology; Stephanie Ungerank, Director of Distance Education; John Yankowskas, Distance Education Multi-Media Specialist; back row: Flave Carpenter, customer service manager for Entergy Arkansas Inc.; students William Barnes, from England, Bradley Heigle, from Jonesboro, and Jacob Tomlinson, from Kensett; and Dr. Jason Goodner, Vice Chancellor for Academics.

ASU-Beebe recently received an Entergy Corporation micro-grant for Distance Education equipment, which will benefit students in the online programs.

The $500 grant was used to purchase a teleprompter, tripod, a boom mic kit and lighting. The media equipment will be used to support the academic divisions that require Distance Education’s support to produce educational videos for their online initiatives.

Flave Carpenter, customer service manager for Entergy Arkansas Inc., said “Entergy believes in investing in technology for the benefit of our combined future. This contribution to ASU-Beebe to advance technology in the delivery of education and workforce training demonstrates our community commitment.”

Stephanie Ungerank, Director of Distance Education, said “Currently, we are using laptops over the shoulder of the videographer or note cards to help with online instruction. The teleprompter will provide a way to use the instructor’s notes as talking points and allow the instructor to look directly into the camera. This provides for a more engaging video. We also have lavalier mics that we are using but are limited to the number of speakers or where the speaker can stand due to low audio quality. The boom mic and lighting options will allow the instructor to move freely and assist with demonstrations on camera as the quality of the audio and video will greatly improve with a boom mic and better lighting.”

Last year, ASU-Beebe expanded its John Deere Agricultural Technology program to include a virtual training program with a new dealership partner, Gooseneck Implement, based out of Minot, ND.

Jake Selvidge, Director of John Deere Agriculture Technology, said “For the Ag Tech instruction, this equipment will be particularly instrumental in the continued development and delivery of the virtual program for our partners at Gooseneck Equipment in North and South Dakota. It will also allow for program expansion to nationwide in the future. We will be able to film lab exercises, showing the students a better step by step set up and completion. One major obstacle we have had in the past is lighting and audio when trying to film under the hoods in engine bays. This equipment will provide better light in the areas and audio for the topic being discussed. The teleprompter will help us as instructors by not having to continually check notes as we are filming the material.”

Ungerank added that Distance Education is launching an online pilot program for the John Deere Ag Tech program. “This will provide students with the education and experience that they receive on campus, but in the online environment. The additional equipment will greatly improve the videos, allowing the instructors to prepare and instruct from anywhere in the John Deere building on the Beebe campus. It will provide unlimited audio and lighting options, as they will be able to walk freely around the equipment.”


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