Monday, May 9, 2016

Evolution of Traditional Teaching Spaces

The era of the traditional university "computer lab" is over, along with the "lecture theater" and the "library": these are merging into common learning spaces. The Inspire Center at University of Canberra is a model for this, with flexible spaces and a minimalist TEAL room.

In 2007 I attended a talk by Philip Long and Mark Schulz on TEAL rooms. For the next five years I looked at how to optimize the space in TEAL inspired computer labs, with false floors for cable and desks with built in cabling. But by 2012 the technology had moved on, to the point where we just needed rooms with technology on the walls and wifi. The problem of how to accommodate fixed furniture and the technology on it could be solved, by not having any. Desks on wheels can be arranged as required and students bring their own equipment.

 Data visualization can be done using the screens on all walls to display the same image, active learning through the student's individual BYOD devices using the room's wifi and team-based collaboration by allocating a screen and some of the white-board wall, to each team.

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