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Wake County Public Schools Join Forces With N.C. State To Create High-Tech Classroom

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RALEIGH — A new middle school sprouting onN.C. State's Centennial Campusis putting some cool high-tech tools in the classroom.

It will be a while before the Partner In School Research and Development Center opens, but big things are on the horizon.

N.C. State University, several Triangle companies and theWake County school systemare working together to bring the latest technology to teachers and classrooms across the state.

The new "smart classroom" on the N.C. State campus is a model for similar rooms at the Research and Development Center. Laptop computers may be networked from each seat, and microphones pick up questions from teachers in training.

"Licensing now requires that teachers be more knowledgeable about technology," says Dr. Larry Watson, project coordinator. "This room will help us do a better job in teacher development."

The Research and Development Center will be adjacent to the new Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School, but its reach will be long.

"This is an opportunity with the R&D center to have other teachers throughout North Carolina have the same opportunity that Wake County does," says Dr. Joan Michael, Dean of College Education and Psychology at N.C. State.

"Smart classrooms" will use wireless transmitters connecting multiple computers. An electronic whiteboard and the Internet will change learning.

"You can say to the class, 'You don't need to take notes. What I'll do, I'll save what I've written on the electronic whiteboard and will download this on a Web page, and you can see your class notes on a Web page,'" Watson said.

Dean Michael says N.C. State, with the help of companies such asNortelandCisco, leads the nation in the use of new technologies, including wireless.

"Wireless is going to come to pass," Michael says. "By the time the R&D center opens, there should be no school or district in North Carolina with which we could not work," Michael says.

Dean Michael also says literacy used to be defined by reading books. Today, literacy is also defined by how versatile people are and how well people can use information technology.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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