One of our team goals at the Ed-Fi Alliance is to “experience the reality,” meaning, we must go out into the community and immerse ourselves in the daily lives of students and teachers, the very group that we are working to impact, in order to fully understand what they need and what approaches are most helpful. A few weeks ago our team ventured out to Travis High School in East Austin to do just that.

Through our connections at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, we learned that the computer science labs at Travis High School were in pretty bad shape. Across two separate labs, work stations had wires crisscrossing the classroom, with overtaxed electrical outlets and fraying networking cords. Students not only had a hard time accessing their desks, but could not move around without the fear of tripping over wires, cables and cords or knocking out a plug.

Knowing this, our team came in for the day and went right to work reconfiguring the outlet and cord systems. Using industrial strength Velcro, zip ties and new surge protectors, we were able to completely transform the space from a cramped and hazardous classroom into a computer lab that was neat, organized and now lends itself to focusing on learning. 

Velcro and zip ties may be far from revolutionary, but sometimes it’s the simple and small things that have the biggest impact.