Technology Engagement Center: A Center For Opportunities


This is the layout for the TEC.

Many families have no access to the internet in their household and find themselves going to local fast foods or libraries just to finish the work that requires wifi. Most of the time, those areas are filled and busy, with many finding it to be a difficult location to focus. 

With the help of the public’s donation, the new Technology Engagement Center is opening in June on the campus of Hobgood Elementary School. The building and its groundwork was paid through donations given by the Murfreesboro City Council, Rutherford County Commission, and the Christy-Houston Foundation.  

The TEC offers the public wifi, free of cost, and individual rooms for group gatherings or presentations. There will also be a staff available who will help with technology challenges.  

“I think having this type of resource available to everyone will help allow more people to learn without things like economic standing hindering their progress,” Zyion Stephens, junior, stated. 

Schools are also developing more modern ways to give students work through the internet which some may have no access to. There are websites like Quest that many math teachers use  to assign work to their students and NoRedInk which English teachers use to give student’s grammar practice. Emails have also become an essential mode of communication between student and teacher.

Kimberly Baumann is one of the teachers at Blackman High who constantly uses the internet for assignments. She has podcasts which students have access to after school that teaches them new topics or reviews them over old topics. 

“Teachers are beginning to rely more on the internet for student works having the availability for students who don’t have internet access will keep a parity among students. Hopefully, [it will] reduce the achievement gap because everyone has access to same information, better preparing students and any post high school options: work, career, military, or college,” Kimberly Baumann, AP Chemistry teacher, stated. 

The center not only includes wifi, but also provides a 3D printer, vinyl and laser cutters, Computer Aided Design, 36 Apple computers, and laptop computers that can be used in the building.  

“This seems like a great opportunity to expand my knowledge by using such advanced technology. I’ve had access to the internet, but not access to newer technology. I’ve never been able to use a 3D printer, but with the center hopefully I will,” Allie Paliaro, junior, stated. 

Linebaugh also wants to provide paid internships to two or three MTSU students and unpaid internships to high school students in junior or senior year.  

This four year-long project will provide the Rutherford County community with the resources they need to further boost their lifestyle and discover new things.