Technology ‘epicenter’ to serve as ed-tech hub

King University will establish an technology-rich “epicenter” of 21st century teaching-tool development and a regional educational resource in a former private high school, university officials announced Oct. 23.

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The ‘epicenter’ will be in a former high school.

The Learning Commons at Nicewonder Hall has been established in the 20,000 square-foot former Academy at King building on the main campus. King officials unveiled plans for its use in online teaching during a morning ceremony attended by more than 100 faculty, staff, students and invited guests.

“Learning Commons is devoted to provide the most effective, 21st century teaching and learning environment whether on ground or online,” college President Greg Jordan said. “It has numerous resources (ranging) from interactive capability to mobile applications to a course development center. All of it helps us improve the resources for teaching and we’re very pleased to have them and we’ll be sharing those with regional school systems.”

Education is moving toward more online learning and the new center is designed to meet those needs, Jordan said.

“This marks a significant transition point in higher education,” Jordan said. “Of the 24 million people engaged in various forms of education, 6 million of them are doing something online. … The initiatives and momentum is going that way in which new teaching and learning environments are being developed in a wonderful and creative way.”

In addition to its Bristol campus, King has teaching centers in Kingsport and Knoxville, Tenn., and provides instruction at 10 other sites stretching from Big Stone Gap, Va., to Harriman, Tenn., with plans to soon offer courses in the Nashville area.