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APSU College of Ed unveils new technology classroom

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Last year, education students at Austin Peay State University took technology classes in an out-dated computer lab filled with rows of long, gray tables and black desktop computers. They entered this dreary space every week to learn how to incorporate technology into their future classrooms, but the lab’s antiquated design didn’t give them an accurate view of what they’d encounter as teachers in 21st century schools.

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Last year, education students at Austin Peay State University took technology classes in an out-dated computer lab filled with rows of long, gray tables and black desktop computers. They entered this dreary space every week to learn how to incorporate technology into their future classrooms, but the lab’s antiquated design didn’t give them an accurate view of what they’d encounter as teachers in 21st century schools.

            “The old computer lab had stationary desks and stationary desk tops, but teachers in schools don’t have that in their classrooms,” Dr. Carlette Hardin, dean of the APSU Martha Dickerson Eriksson College of Education, said.

            Last January, construction crews began gutting an unused classroom on the third floor of the APSU Claxton Building. Thanks to some special funding sources within the University, that space has been transformed into the state-of-the-art Ready2Teach classroom. The new room, which features cutting edge technology and eco-friendly materials, will be unveiled to the community during a special grand opening ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 2.

            The College of Education received partial funding for the renovation from the University’s Sustainability Committee. In 2008, APSU developed a sustainable campus fee to fund green initiatives, such as recycling projects, energy and water conservation and the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.

           “We got funding from the Sustainability Committee to be able to put in floors, ceiling tiles, new light fixtures and blinds,” Hardin said. “They’re all made from sustainable materials.”

            The College of Education also received a Technology Access Fee grant to purchase five 55-inch Mondopad tablets and one 70-inch Mondopad tablet for the room. The giant touch-screen tablets are attached to the walls. And instead of having stationary tables, the room now has small desks on wheels, allowing students to work in groups around the different tablets.

            “Each group can be doing something different, and the teacher can transport what they’re doing onto the big Mondopad,” Hardin said.

            To help brighten the Ready2Teach Technology Room, the college added large photographs of students from local public schools using technology in classrooms. The pictures cover panels of insulation that absorb sound in the room.

            For more information on the classroom or the grand opening ceremony, contact the APSU Martha Dickerson Eriksson College of Education at 931-221-7696.