Students at West High School now have a high tech option for interacting with the world and expanding their educational reach.
At a dedication ceremony Thursday morning, people applauded the demise of what was a mini-auditorium and the dedication of what is now a state of the art lecture hall.
At West High School the future is now.
"The ease of use is one of the key components to making sure when you implement technology you make sure that anyone can walk up and use it right away," Tom Gallaher of Gallaher and Associates said.
Gallaher and Associates installed the technology.
It's the vision of the West High School Foundation. The organization raised more than $300,000 to create it.
It replaces power points and bad acoustics and uncomfortable chairs. The new lecture hall features a giant screen which allowed the Tennessee Commissioner of Education to join the celebration through a live video connection.
Padding on the walls enhances sound. Comfortable seats with individual writing tables improve the student experience.
Presenters and teachers can see a 70-inch monitor while they manipulate media from this podium.
"Some of the advancements with technology have to do with the ability to control all of the types of media that presenters and teachers want to be able to use. We have a system that's all completely controlled with an ipad," Gallaher said.
The technology is an academic tool that will broaden the educational experience for the students at West High School.
"To be able to bring the video conferencing and for them to be able to have access to classes in other countries, to be able to talk to students in other countries, I think that's going to be an experience they'll take with them and keep with them forever," West High Curriculum Principal Shannon Siebe said.
It expands the concept of distance learning to not only communicating with other schools but also with other cultures around the world.
"It's vital that our students are provided with the technological tools to really be able to learn about what's going on in the world around them," Siebe said.
The world comes to West High School through a new lecture hall.