Iowa Lakes has proven itself an educational leader yet again - this time this Wednesday as it unveiled new classroom technology that will let the college reach more students in more places.
Two classrooms on each of the college's five campuses now feature large-screen television screens that will help students at remote sites feel as though they're more a part of the class. Another big improvement is that microphones are now voice-activated rather than the switches that were required previously. The technology also allows the college to at least double the number of television classes that it can offer.
The technology has also been extended to provide video access to college-level classes for nine area high schools, including Algona, North Union, Clay Central-Everly, Graettinger-Terril, Harris-Lake Park, Ruthven-Ayrshire, West Bend-Mallard and Algona.
The technology is also helping to facilitate Laker Express, a series of five courses, each three weeks in length, over the semester, as well as a new evening arts and science program in which students can work during the day and learn at night.
The college has also been named a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) center and will hold a STEM Camp July 29 through Aug. 1. The camp for students who have completed sixth or seventh grade will provide activities designed to build foundational skills and inspire interest in STEM.
The college has also formalized a partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers to become the nation's only Renewable Energy Leadership Center. The designation will make Iowa Lakes a hub of training for employees in both the wind energy and HVAC fields, with Snap-on and Trane as corporate partners.
Any one of these accomplishments would have been remarkable. Together, they're stunning. There's probably nowhere else in the country where so many things are happening all at once.
The result is that Iowa Lakes is going to draw from an increasingly large area. Today, the college draws students nationally - and a significant number internationally. Those numbers are only going to continue to grow as more students realize that Iowa Lakes is leading the charge in technology in education.