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Nov. 20, 2009
Trinity University Unveils TEaCH Lab to Revolutionize Education
SAN ANTONIO – How can teachers reach today’s students? One of the best ways is through the use of technology, according to educators and professors at Trinity University, where students who are preparing to teach will now have access to a new technology lab to keep their skills sharp.
Dedicated in November, the TEaCH Center for Educational Technology is small but powerful. Built in two Storch Memorial Building classrooms linked by a door, the lab is packed with lots of “gee whiz” computers and laptops loaded with the latest software, along with a podium operated by a touchpad, Smart Boards, electronic white boards, plasma TV’s, and more. But the best part of the center is its potential.
The ideas generated in the lab will help transform schools, said Richard Middleton, superintendent of North East Independent School District and a part-time Trinity faculty member, said at the dedication ceremony. “The size of a place is not as important as the size of an idea.”
Paul Kelleher, the Murchison Professor and chair of education, said the lab will benefit 30,000 teachers in 600 schools in 21 school districts served by Trinity’s Center for Educational Leadership. To serve multiple needs of so many, the center must be flexible, he said, explaining that the facility was intentionally designed not to have permanent work stations.
“We have a wireless laptop cart similar to what students and teachers use in
K-12 schools so that the laptops can be used anywhere on campus,” said
Angela Breidenstein, associate professor of education. Other technology in
the room includes iPods, Alpha-smart keyboards, and software that is unique
to teaching and is not used elsewhere on the Trinity campus, she said.
Technology specialists from the North East, Alamo Heights, and Judson school
districts helped collaborate on the best design and equipment to ensure the
“cutting edge” nature of the lab, which is envisioned as a learning space
not only for Trinity students and faculty but also for professional
development workshops for alumni, area teachers, and principals.
“An important principle of education is to meet students where they already
are, and our students are immeasurably immersed in technology,” said Michael
Fischer, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, who
also noted that techniques for learning and technology are “constantly
evolving. All this means future teachers will use technology in ways we
The lab will be
instrumental in both transforming and disrupting traditional ways of
learning how to teach, replacing them with “new and more powerful ways,”
said Charles White, vice president for Information Resources and
The dedication was an opportunity to thank U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, for sponsoring a congressional appropriation that financed the lab. “Trinity is such a special place,” Mr. Smith said, adding that no small, liberal arts college with 1,000 miles in either direction can equal Trinity’s stature. “You’re influencing a whole generation of young people.”
To see a video of the opening reception, click on link: