“I’ve never been in here before,” I heard from two students yesterday as they made their way to the staircase in Hoffman. I assumed these students were busy locating and meeting their advisers for spring registration. Yes, some faculty members have offices in Hoffman.
Coincidentally, we held this week’s ETC meeting in Hoffman’s Innovation Zone to spark conversations about classroom technology. We demonstrated video conferencing and distance learning applications and the flexibility provided by mobile seating and mobile display units. The Innovation Zone does not have a teacher station, so connections to display units may be unfamiliar for some.
Within the context of this space we discussed the aging analog technologies in some classrooms on campus, and the need to plan for upgrades. Learning more about the needs and concerns of faculty members and students is essential. Room size and planned use also become critical conversation points. Larger rooms intended for lecture/presentations may still need projectors, screens and teacher stations. Updating from analog to digital while maintaining current functionality is one option. Yet, we must consider many options. Should we consider a mobile teacher station? I ask this because of the article that just landed in my email from Faculty Focus, Step Away from the Lectern. So, there is much to consider.
ETC members extending these conversations with their constituents will provide additional input at our next meeting. Interested individuals who “have never been in here before” may learn more about the Innovation Zone or test it out by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to continued conversations.