The Educational Technology and Media Services Group may be new, but we’ve been busy with lots of projects! Our biggest ongoing project is the new Learning Studio on the first floor of Sprague. This project started out as a remodeling of the Mac and PC labs in the basement of the Parsons building after CIS received a grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation to remodel our labs in Fall 2008. In Spring 2009 we conducted a series of focus groups with faculty, staff, and students. The main themes revealed by the focus groups were an emphasis on flexibility, comfort, natural light, and facilities for individual and group work. We quickly realized that the physical space of the Mac and PC labs was not conducive to any of these expressed desires. So we were thrilled when the first floor of Sprague became available as an alternative location. A group comprising members of CIS and Facilities and Maintenance has been meeting with an architect, Dan Lawrence, to design the layout of the Learning Studio and to choose furniture and equipment. We’re happy to report that the construction drawings are complete and that the furniture will be ordered this week. If all goes well construction should be completed by the beginning of May. The new Learning Studio will include space for a classroom with flexible tables and charis. The tables can easily be moved around to reconfigure the space and can be collapsed and stored to make more room. Two sets of laptops will be available for use in the classroom. A group work area similar to those in the Platt Living Room, several lounge areas, and approximately 18 dedicated desktop computers will also be available. We’re also in the process of constructing a “wish list” of other technology and services thathave been suggested for the Learning Studio. You can view and add to the wish list by joining the Sakai site called “HMC Learning Spaces.” To join, login to Sakai and use the Membership tool in your My Workspace.
It’s been an exciting experience working with faculty, staff, and students to design this space and we can’t wait make it available to the HMC community. For more information please feel free to contact Elizabeth_Hodas@hmc.edu