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Wildcat Tech Expo to focus on student connection

The Wildcat Tech Expo will return this year with more vendors in attendance and more tech classes, which means more prizes to be given away.

Tyler Cahoon, manager of Wildcat Tech, said the expo is an opportunity to learn from both on-campus and off-campus professionals about modern technology and the social media world.

“We invite not only faculty, staff and students of the university, but also invite the outside community to become more involved,” Cahoon said. “It’s a lot bigger than it was five years ago, with only two vendors and probably one or two classes; we are (now) over 60 classes this year and about 55 vendors.”

Apple, Adobe and Instagram are some of the companies that will offer classes. These classes will look at current social media use in the daily lives of students, how to implement it in business, and how to use current technology and software.

“We want everybody to come and participate, and we have some pretty cool prizes we will be giving out,” Cahoon said.

This year, GoPro is sponsoring a film festival at the expo.

“It’s going to be a 24-hour (event), so students can come sign up for the class, learn about what their subject is going to be, and will then have 24 hours to make something with the GoPro (camera),” Cahoon said. “We will provide GoPros if you don’t have one. Check them out, bring them back the next day, and show off your film in the Wildcat Theater.”

GoPro will be giving away one of its cameras to the winner of the film festival.

Ty Naylor, the information technology communications events and training coordinator, said the university would like students to see how technology is impacting higher education.

“We’re trying to invite different kinds of technology companies,” Naylor said. “We’ll show as many different perspectives as possible to showcase how higher education is moving technology to enhance the classroom.”

Naylor said to expect more classes this year to focus on being mobile. He said it’s about having access to a classroom, being more interactive with professors or students, and  utilizing technology to enable others to be more efficient with their time.

Adobe will be showcasing the new CS6 software, and Apple will be discussing how the iPad and mobile devices are used in the classroom.

“This can lead to how the university can communicate better,” Naylor said.

Anyone who attends any of the classes will automatically be entered into a drawing to win specific prizes from the vendors. Another way to sign up for drawings is to attend the vendor booths themselves.

For the Wildcat Expo kickoff event on Tuesday, Michael Chorost, technology theorist and author of Rebuilt and World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet, will be the keynote speaker at 9:30 a.m. in the Wildcat Theater.

Chorost will speak on how he learned to embrace new tools to make new and better rules. He will also show how students can do the same things in their lives by learning from his personal experiences.

Chorost, since the age of 3, has lived with a hearing aid. In 2001, Chorost experienced an instant hearing loss and went completely deaf.

Since Chorost had a cochlear implant surgically installed, his hearing was restored, but he had to learn speech and sounds all over again. This gave him a new perspective on human evolution with technology.

“Technology can be used to connect people emotionally as well as intellectually,” Chorost said.

In theory, just as Chorost had to re-learn how to listen, with technology, people can re-learn how to connect to each other. Chorost will share more of his story and experiences at the expo.

The Wildcat Tech Expo will take place Oct. 16-17. For more information and to register for classes, students can go to

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