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Games, virtual reality, capstones and more at iShowcase

The School of Information will host its annual iShowcase on Thursday, April 25 in the Student Union Memorial Center South Ballroom. At the showcase, visitors can use virtual reality technology.
Courtesy Jana Phillips
The School of Information will host its annual iShowcase on Thursday, April 25 in the Student Union Memorial Center South Ballroom. At the showcase, visitors can use virtual reality technology.

The University of Arizona School of Information’s iShowcase event will feature student projects in gaming, virtual reality and technology through interactive demos and presentations on Thursday, April 25, from 2-5 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center South Ballroom. Attendance will be free.

Student-developed digital games, board games and virtual reality games will be available to play at the event. Students will also give presentations on multimedia topics and sound and computer technology. School of Information seniors will present their capstone projects. 

“The goal is to showcase student projects. We want to show what we are doing in the School of Information,” said Jana Phillips, program coordinator for the School of Information. “Not a lot of people know about us and what we are. A lot of times we get calls from people wanting information about something else on campus.”

The UA School of Information was formed in 2015 and is home to many different areas of study, such as library and information science, social media, game design and data science.

          RELATED: The new University of Arizona School of Information explores “dark data” and our relationship with technology

Many of the interactive demonstrations at the iShowcase will be in the form of games developed by students in their School of Information courses. Drew Castalia teaches gaming courses at the School of Information and said it can be stressful and exciting for students to showcase their games.

“If you spend hundreds of hours creating something and no one ever gets to see it, you may be relieved that you never had to put it out there, but at the same time, it needed to be done to make you feel like you accomplished something,” Castalia said.

The name iShowcase is a reference to the School of Information’s status as an iSchool. iSchools are internationally recognized institutions that explore and develop the relationships between information, people and technology. 

“iSchools are a new thing. The iSchool movement started little more than a decade ago. In the last ten years the number of iSchools has really grown at a rapid rate,” said Catherine Brooks, founder and director of the School of Information. “iSchools focus on interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving at the intersections of information, technology and people.”

The School of Information is Arizona’s first and only iSchool and part of over 90 other iSchools around the world with the distinction.

           RELATED: VR technology holds many opportunities, challenges

While the School of Information is already large and growing rapidly, many still do not know what the school is all about, according to Brooks.

“Many on campus don’t know we’re here. We can truly work across astronomy, food, agriculture, plant sciences, cross Speedway [Boulevard] and talk about emerging health technologies, because those are all about information processing and lives of humans,”  Brooks said. “We don’t just train students to code. We train them to work across domains to solve today’s emerging challenges and problems, and I think that’s the most important thing about the iSchool.”

More information, including a schedule of the iShowcase, can be found at the School of Information website.


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Copy Notes:

Jana Phillips (she/her) program coordinator for the School of Information. jana42@email.arizona.edu 

Catherine Brooks (she/her) director of the School of Information.

cfbrooks@email.arizona.edu 

Drew Castalia (he/him) adjunct instructor at the School of Information.

dcastalia@email.arizona.edu

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