Sowela to create six high-tech 'smart classrooms'

The following is a News Release from Sowela Technical Community College:

Sowela Technical Community College has received an $80,400 technology grant to create six "smart classrooms" to benefit students and faculty alike.

Sowela will install equipment from SMART Technologies Inc. in five liberal studies and education classrooms and one workforce development classroom.

The technology includes interactive electronic lecterns, document cameras, sound systems with microphones and web cameras, allowing instructors to record lectures for later review by students.

"The technology will improve the delivery of instruction and program completion, align faculty teaching techniques with student learning styles and workforce needs, and enhance faculty and student skills in technology," English instructor Melanie McNease said.

McNease landed the grant for Sowela. She was assisted by Rita Pourteau, English instructor, and Jo Schexneider, coordinator of informational technology.

The money was awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund.

"At a time when colleges are asked to do more with less, grants such as this are essential," said Dr. Rick Bateman, vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success. "Even more important is the role that Sowela faculty have voluntarily taken on to seek out, apply for, and secure grants that improve the quality of our services to students and promote student success."

Sowela is the fastest-growing college in Louisiana, with record enrollment this fall and nearly 100 percent growth since 2005.