High school students experience cutting-edge technology at ELRI

Jun 10, 2024 | Education and Human Sciences

Students from Carroll High School in Monroe City Schools recently visited Louisiana Tech’s Emergent Learning Research Institute (ELRI) in the College of Education and Human Sciences as part of their Career and Technical Education curriculum.

The visit, orchestrated by Carroll High School teacher Shirley Neal, aimed to provide students with hands-on exposure to innovative technologies beyond the classroom.

“Our students gained practical experience and knowledge that are highly sought after in today’s job market,” Neal said. “The visit to ELRI offered our students a unique opportunity to enhance their technical expertise, explore new college and career pathways within the tech industry, and network with professionals in the field.”

ELRI integrates emerging technologies into educational practices to enhance teaching and learning. Introducing high school students to interactive workshops featuring artificial intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and coding helps broaden an understanding of the future of technology.

“By exposing visitors to these cutting-edge tools, ELRI introduces the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape,” Dr. Lisa Flanders-Dick, ELRI coordinator, said.

Along with student workshops, Missy Wooley, assistant director for the STEM Collective for Innovative Louisiana Stakeholders (SCILS), extended her coding session and allowed participants to continue their projects using Co-Spaces for the rest of the academic year.

Teachers were also invited back to ELRI’s Create Studio this summer to use Synthesia software that creates video content using AI without cameras, microphones, or studios. This software allows teachers to create a digital representation of themselves that performs human-like behaviors, emotions, and interactions.

“We desire to provide educators from K-12, higher education, health, industry, and military domains with innovative resources to develop their knowledge and skills,” Dr. Don Schillinger, interim chair for the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership said. “The joy of learning that occurs when curiosity and guided play are encouraged was evident during the visit from Carroll High School, especially in an educational environment designed to enhance those traits.”

“At ELRI, our commitment is promoting and fostering lifelong learners by providing resources to enhance their skills through emerging technologies,” Flanders-Dick said.

For more information on ELRI and its programs, visit here or contact Dr. Lisa Flanders-Dick at