mac-lab-picTeacher Education students at Missouri Southern State University are now using a new Mac computer system laboratory donated by two longtime private donors of the university.

The new lab, located in Taylor Hall Room 213, is equipped with 30 student stations and one teacher station. The computers are set up in pods to facilitate student collaborative learning.

This addresses limitations of student-to-student and teacher-to-student interaction that existed in the department’s previous lab.

Dr. Al Cade, Interim Dean of the School of Education, says as a primary leader of teacher preparation in the region, MSSU must continue to update its facilities to include today’s cutting-edge technologies.

MSSU’s Teacher Education Department is developing a strategic plan aimed at addressing the issues of space and technology, as well as the professional development needed to keep the program at the forefront of the educational community.

“We want to prepare future teachers to keep up with the pace of change in today’s schools,” Dr. Cade said. “We chose Mac computers because several area school districts converted to that system. Our faculty wanted students to have all the essential tools they need to become more effective future teachers.”

Dr. Cade says the lab is the result of planning over the last 24 months.

“This lab provides both state-of-the-art technology as well as the environment to prepare future teachers for 21st Century Learning Classrooms,” said Dr. Deborah Brown, head of the Department of Teacher Education.

Drs. Jeanie Cozens and Willie Edwards of the MSSU Teacher Education Department have been scheduling their Diagnostic Reading classes in the lab on Thursday afternoons. Jordan Hern, senior elementary education major from Neosho, indicated the new technology “adds an element of excitement to learning.”

There will be open lab times for students majoring in Teacher Education as well as time for Education classes being held in the lab. The Mac computer lab at Missouri Southern officially began operations on the first day of the fall semester.