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LRC Hosts Grand Re-Opening to Showcase Grant-funded Upgrades [08/29/2018]


Students use the new collaboration space with interactive display and white boards.

Baylor School of Education’s Learning Resources Center (LRC) underwent a renovation this summer and is hosting a grand re-opening Thursday, Sept. 6, from 3-4 p.m. The LRC has changed a lot, thanks to a grant of $100,000 from an anonymous donor. During the grand re-opening, the LRC and Media Center will showcase the renovations, give away door prizes, and provide refreshments in the LRC.

A survey last year found that School of Education students needed more resources for collaboration and conference-style studying. When Pam Voyles, Librarian and Director of the Learning Resources Center, joined the SOE team in March of 2018, she jumped wholeheartedly into the makeover to ensure students have a modern and comfortable space to work.

“Over the past six months, we’ve touched every book in the library,” Voyles said. “We’re weeding out what we don’t need, ordering what we do, and logging everything online so students can find exactly what they need,” Voyles said. “We’ve also upgraded the details like installing bright lettering, so students can find the right areas they need quickly, and making sure there are enough electrical outlets in the tables for laptops.”

Most of the grant helped with technology and general upgrades, while 30 percent is dedicated to the children’s literature collection development. That will be an ongoing project; SOE faculty and students can request specific books to use in student teaching, other projects with local school children, or use in SOE classrooms. Then those books remain in the library for use by other SOE students or faculty.

In the Media Center, students can find resources to jump start their creativity.

Director of the SOE Technology Services Terry Martin said, “We had a lot of dreams for the LRC and Media Center, and then the donation happened. It was perfect timing. Technology is a moving target, so we try our best to keep up with it especially for the student teachers’ sake.”

The Media Center is now more open and accessible from the LRC, with a string of windows giving a full view of the Media Center and the technology and tools it offers. Education students can use multiple 3D printers, laminators, poster printers, projectors, and desktop computers to help them as they teach K-12 students.

New technology devices and other equipment have also permeated other areas of the LRC, Martin said. New white boards are available in the study areas, and there’s new collaboration space with large interactive monitors. “These are a huge upgrade compared to the spaces before, and they’re much more useful for our students,” Martin said.

Dr. Terrill Saxon, Interim Dean, said each detail and renovation was installed to improve the experience for the students, and the technological updates allow the School of Education to remain current.

“SOE faculty and staff have worked hard to make these LRC renovations better meet the learning needs and desires of today’s generation of students,” Saxon said. “The gift allowed us to add group workspaces, enhancements in technology and comfortable furniture. It’s now a much more inviting and student-centered learning environment.”

—By Cameron Bocanegra

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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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