TAFE celebrates technology, heritage
Monday, 2nd August, 2010
The local TAFE campus is going back to its roots this week as it celebrates the opening of the 'Learning Commons' and Education Week.
The Learning Commons is a flexible, social area aimed at supporting learning outside of the classroom.
It aims to suit the needs of today's students, who are just as likely to take a laptop out into the sunshine as they are to sit in a classroom.
The Commons involves opening up the building's central library into a more social area.
A connected classroom has also been set up using new technology to allow students to talk with their teachers and peers wherever they are in the world.
Wireless internet and the conversion of administration areas into breakout rooms also play a part.
The TAFE building is more than 100 years old and was a museum and art gallery for most of its early days.
Scott Dennis, TAFE Area Manager in the city, said the launch of the Learning Commons presented a good opportunity to recognise this heritage value.
He said tourists often came in to the centrally-located building, following the "museum" sign that remains out the front.
TAFE has set up partnerships with the Powerhouse Museum, BH Regional Art Gallery, Geocentre and City Council to secure exhibits both new and old.
Portraits by Brian Martin are on show in the library, and will remain for six months.
A model train and stuffed birds are back on display after years in storage.
Mr Dennis plans to keep exhibits on show permanently, and bring the building back to its exhibition roots.
The project will be officially opened tonight by the Deputy Director General of Education, Pam Christie.
A joint exhibition of works by TAFE and high school students will also be on show.
Music and dance performances will be provided by young people from Broken Hill and Menindee, and the event will be transmitted to distant viewers using the facility's new technology.
Everyone is invited to look at the building's new facilities this week.