Campus Technology

Austin Peay State University Debuts New EdTech Studio

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 11 to celebrate the opening of a new EdTech Studio on its campus. The space within the Eriksson College of Education will offer technological training for pre-service teachers through the use of virtual reality. A gift from Furniture Connection provided the university with VR headsets, 3D printers, LEGO Education sets, coding devices, robotics, and other tools, according to a news release.

The VR equipment provides an immersive learning experience allowing university students to observe local K–12 classrooms for lessons in classroom management, student engagement, technology integration, and lesson planning.

“We are thrilled to introduce this groundbreaking space that will play a pivotal role in preparing our teacher candidates for the classrooms of the future,” said Eriksson College of Education Dean Dr. Prentice Chandler. “The Furniture Connection EdTech Studio will provide our students with invaluable opportunities to explore and master the latest educational technologies, ensuring they are well-equipped to engage and inspire the next generation of learners.”

The project was the brainchild of Dr. Hanrui He, an assistant professor in the Eriksson College of Education, who brought it forward after observing the use of technology in local and regional schools. Its ultimate mission is to provide educators with practical and accessible resources, expertise, and support, the news release reports.

“Educator preparation programs in Tennessee are required to provide training in virtual instruction strategies for teacher candidates,” said He. “Teachers are expected to seamlessly integrate technology into the curriculum rather than treating it as an add-on or an afterthought. The role of EdTech is to make teaching more effective, learning more engaging, and professional learning more efficient. Our lab's various learning stations prepare teacher candidates for in-person and online teaching while also offering hands-on experience with emerging EdTech tools, ensuring that future educators are well-prepared for the demands of modern education.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].