Innovation Room opens new doors to learning

High-technology space at OHS gives students access to collaborative environment

JUNIOR BECCA SCHAUER, freshman Jesse Schauer and sophomore Shamir Garcia (from left)demonstrated how the wireless flat screen and dry-erase table work last Friday in the Northern Ozaukee School District’s new Innovation Room. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Ozaukee High School sophomore Shamir Garcia wirelessly connected his Chromebook to a flat screen attached to the wall above the table where he and junior Becca Schauer and freshman Jesse Schauer sat.

On the screen Garcia scrolled through a web page of medical terms while Becca Schauer took notes on the table top.

Northern Ozaukee School District Learning Coach Lori Marini calmly stood by, not concerned about what appeared to be district furniture being defaced.

That’s because the table top was a dry-erase board. It and several other nearby tables, plus the wireless technology, are features of the district’s new Innovation Room, a high-tech space designed to facilitate collaborative learning among students and adults.

The room is dominated in the center by an “executive table” that, like the smaller tables around the room  features USB and HDMI ports so users can connect their devices to a large touch-screen on the north wall.

The space has four flat-screen TVs, including one table-top, six dry-erase tables and a large six-foot wide magnetic dry-erase board on the south wall.

Other room features include sectional and track lighting that can focus on individual areas of the room, a surround-sound system, plus couches and adjustable-height chairs.

The project cost $50,000 and was paid for with a $161,000 grant from the Bruce Krier Charitable Foundation. The rest of the grant went to pay for Chromebooks and upgrades in the district information technology network, district Information Technology Director Dan Schreurs said.

Marini said rooms like the one at NOSD “are becoming more and more common with the type of learning and education that’s happening in high school education right now.”

The idea for the room was posed to district Superintendent Dave Karrels after Schreurs attended a meeting in a similar room at the Oostburg School District.

“We discussed it and saw what a great opportunity we had,” Schreurs said.

Karrels said the room will be one of the key stops for visitors when they tour the district’s facilities.

“It really sets the tone for where we want to be as a district,” Karrels said.

The room is free to use by community-based groups. The district Parent Teacher Resource Group will be the first such group to use the room to plan its annual auction on Nov. 10 at the Landt-Thiel American Legion Post 470 in Saukville.

“We want this room to be a success and open to community groups and support groups, as well as to students,” Marini said.

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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