Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Productive Quarter Break for Technology Enhancement

Many people often assume that because school is out, no one is here on campus. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, quarter break (at least in technology) is one of our busiest times because it is then that we have the opportunity to work upgrades and enhancement projects.

This quarter break has been no exception in that respect, but it has been one of the most notable for many reasons.

First, you may notice new gadgets mounted on the ceilings. This is because we have just completed the first phase of wireless network upgrades in the College of Education. Students and faculty should return to significantly improved wireless network performance in the areas of the building that are covered.

Areas in the buildings that are still experiencing coverage problems will be upgraded during a second, expansion phase to come later, following other requisite network upgrades. Our goal is to expand wireless coverage such that 100% of all our buildings are covered by the end of Spring Quarter.

Stennis Space Education Center Provides Workshop with Louisiana Tech's SciTEC and NASA Research Center, Grambling University, and Area School Districts

Thirty-nine middle school students and 48 pre-service, in-service, and informal educators participated in the three-part workshop presented by educators from the Stennis Space Center on October 15-16 for STEM curriculum development aligned with national standards. The workshops included hands-on, problem-based learning, and technology-based activities to engage students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and math concepts. Diane Madden, STEM Science Outreach Coordinator for SciTEC said in The Ruston Daily Leader “the parents in the community who participated with their children were as eager to learn the STEM content as their children. You know programs are successful when the participants are actively engaged and say that the time passed so quickly that they wish there was more time to learn. These were great learning experiences for all who participated.” Other participating members included the Institute for Micro-manufacturing local Boy Scout leaders and scouts, and parents representing collaboration across LaTech’s campus and North Louisiana.

In addition to this workshop SciTEC also hosted educators and counselors from NASA Stennis Space Center for a three-day “train-the-trainer” Astro Camp. Trainees included 30 high school students from the LA GEAR UP program and 17 informal and pre-service teachers. They were joined by 50 students ages 7 to 15 from north Louisiana. Dianne Madden said in an interview with The Ruston Daily Leader, “the Stennis NASA Camp was an excellent learning opportunity for the students involved in hands-on activities related to science. The students identified challenges and proposed solutions to space related situations and gained experience in STEM. They learned how using those skills can be rewarding and fun.” 

 - Visit to learn more about the Stennis Space Education Center.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Kinesiology Program Helps Move Community Forward

Recently the Department of Kinesiology received the Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed (KEYS) Champion Award from Lincoln Parish for volunteer work with Ruston Junior High students. Since 2003 the department has evolved to prepare students in broader human movement and health careers. Lanie Dornier, department head, said in an interview with The Ruston Daily Leader that “in kinesiology, we study human movement from a variety of perspectives—biomechanical, physiological, and sociological, across all those disciplines.” Their three prong program includes allied health, physical education, and wellness and fitness. Community service and engagement is also an important part of the program and the development of graduates. For example, Rhonda Boyd an instructor in the department, recently hosted a Winter Games service learning project in which students provided local senior citizens with an opportunity for entertainment and exercise through activities such as hula hooping and tossing beanbags.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

State Superintendent of Schools John White Inspired by Tech - Lincoln Parish Partnership

College Of Education professors Carrice Cummins, Libby Manning, and Kim Kimbell-Lopez selected fifteen COE students to volunteer in a year-long mentor pilot program funded through the Believe and Prepare grant to provide an immersive real school setting environment in state-of-the-art facilities. Also included in this initiative are Don Schillinger and Dawn Bassinger.  Kyndal Cawthon, a senior education major said in The Ruston Daily Leader, “I have to see something to learn it and in this way I’m able to apply it.” This program helps to provide our student teachers with real-world experience in partnership with Glen View Elementary and CSE with additional Lincoln Parish school partnerships to follow in 2015.

State Superintendent of Schools John White said in the Ruston Daily Leader about his trip to Glen View Elementary School, he always looks forward to discovering something “inspiring, innovative, and new” within the folds of the Lincoln Parish education system. He went on to say “I think Tech and Lincoln Parish have a particularly unique synergy that doesn’t exist statewide.” Through Believe and Prepare we are not only trying to ensure Common Core standards are being taught efficiently in the classroom but to ensure newly-graduated teachers are confident and effective on the first day of school through application of avant-garde teaching techniques and encouraging student teachers to take a more proactive role than what was traditionally expected of them.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A .E. Phillips Laboratory School Receives an "A"

A.E. Philips Bullpups Logo
A. E. Phillips Laboratory School and the College of Education are a proud Bullpup family with the release of the Department of Education's school report cards and school performance scores (SPS). Based on our SPS, AEP is the highest ranking elementary/middle school in the state that does not have academic requirements for admission. We continue to be an "A" school with 95% of our students performing at or above grade level.  The average percent proficient for all "A" elementary/middle schools in Louisiana is 87.1%. The percent proficient for our school is 98%!