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Thomas is actively engaging in significant changes in pedagogical practice and education paradigm shifts made possible through technology. Multi-media, online learning, social media, adaptive mobile devices, new designs in gaming and virtual reality approaches, simulated learning scenarios, robotics, mobile applications, and proficiency-based learning all challenge traditional models of education. They also provide significant opportunities to combine human, academic, intellectual, creative, cultural and technological resources and become a center of innovation and inspiration for the Central Maine region and larger global networks.
The key to these opportunities is a complete break from the traditional educational “computer lab” concept in favor of a flexible Educational Design Center that integrates technology within these new paradigms. The Design Center at Thomas will house various mobile and hand-held devices, a multi-media film making and editing studio, laptop computers, as well as other tools as they emerge. Acting as a physical hub, the Design Center encourages students, professors, and instructional and software designers to collaborate on educational design, robotics, classroom simulations for teacher education virtual field work, online course development, and competency based instructional models.