January 23, 2013 12:00AM
A state-of-the-art digital device that is reshaping the construction industry has made its way into the classroom at Pittsburg State’s College of Technology.
In late December, PSU became the first university construction management program in the nation to acquire the 55-inch iPlan Table, a touch-screen computer that is replacing paper blueprints on the jobsite. The use of the new equipment is another way the COT is keeping up with advancements and changes within the industry.
“More and more, construction companies are eliminating the use of paper,” Bill Strenth, assistant professor in the School of Construction, said. “Everything is trending toward digital, which is in line with companies trying to go lean and green on projects. We want our students to be exposed to these technologies while they’re at Pitt State so they’ll be fully prepared to use them once they enter the workforce.”
With the iPlan Table, students can prepare and examine building plans in a variety of ways – ways not available with paper blueprints.
“When they are working on one particular area of the design, they can zoom in and focus on that one area,” Strenth said. “They can use the iPlan Table to make any needed changes. They can work with 3-D models, spin them around on the screen and see exactly what it’s supposed to look like. This is another tool industry is starting to use, and it’s important that we, as a college, are keeping up with industry.”
The iPlan Table is being used in three courses, and it’s already become popular among the students.
“Everyone’s been looking forward to using it,” Ashley Ferris, junior construction management major, said. “Functions such as being able to zoom in and make changes to even the smallest detail makes things not only easier, but also better. It’s easy to maneuver and everything you need is right there at your fingertips.”
Ferris said she believes having equipment such as the iPlan Table helps to better prepare students for life after graduation.
“We hear all of the time about how far ahead we are in terms of new technology,” she said. “I went to a conference recently, and the people there know Pitt State and they know about the technology we have. It’s cool because instead of having to hear about the technology that’s out there, we continue to progress with the new technology and we get to be the ones to tell people about it.”
For more information about the iPlan Tables, visit www.iplantables.com.
See PSU's iPlan Table in ACTION!