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$1.6 million grant prepares tomorrow’s teachers to use technology

Date of release: 09/10/01

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS Southwest Texas State University and area partners joined effort to begin a $1.6 million grant-funded Viewing and Doing Technology (V.D.T).

The project, which began in July, is a collaborative effort of the SWT College of Education, the SWT Center for Professional Development and Technology, two agencies, six area school districts, and three corporations.

It is designed to prepare tomorrow’s teachers to use technology by creating various opportunities for learning how to integrate technology in the classroom. The program focuses on the more than 1000 preservice teachers that are enrolled in the SWT College of Education each semester. These preservice teachers are assisting in classes at 20 kindergarten through 12th grade campus sites that are currently being transformed into technology rich Vision Centers.

A Vision Center is a setting for collaborative experimentation and exploration with software and the Internet. It is a technology-rich K-12 classroom that is equipped with peripherals, computers, Internet access and other learning resources. The center is part of a university-wide effort to promote technology integration in instruction.

The main goal of this effort is to expose preservice teachers to current technologies that will provide them with more effective models of teaching technology and curriculum resources. SWT Vision Center facilitators will assist with the teaching/learning activities in the computer-equipped collaborative environment of the 20 Vision Centers. This in turn will allow preservice teachers and current educators to identify and commit to a shared vision for technology integration in learning.

The project was funded through a joint effort of the United States Department of Education (D.o.E.). The first year has been funded at $603,000 with D.o.E. contributing nearly $295,000. The three-year, $1.6 million project will receive 49 percent of its funding from the U.S.D.o.E., contributing about $785,000. SWT will contribute 51% of the funding at $827,700.

SWT’s project partners include Apple Computing and Microsoft Corporation who are providing training modules and Inspiration Corporation and Microsoft who are providing the software.

The SWT College of Education will kick-off the project with a dinner from 6-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, at the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. Reservations to attend the function must be made by Sept. 14. Please call 512-245-3701 for more information.