The Queensland University of Technology is leading a national effort to pattern new models for cost-effective learning space design. Learn how TeamSpot takes a central role in the initial “Lab 2.0” project.
Can You Cut 40% in Technology Costs… and Improve Student Engagement? Yes!
When it comes to building effective learningspaces, current financial pressures are a challenge. They also create opportunities, however, to break from conventional thinking.
Tidebreak has prepared a detailed whitepaper, “Deploying Smart(er) Classrooms at Smaller Expense,” that shows how you can cut TCO for classroom technology systems by 40% or more by embracing new classroom system architectures. These design approaches can create a wide variety of flexible interactive spaces that promote student-faculty collaboration.
How Are You Measuring the Impact of Your Learning Spaces?
Imagine: in a meeting with the Provost, the question comes up: “Now that we’ve invested in new learning space technologies, how do we know what effect it has had on learning?” How do you provide evidence that demonstrates a statistically significant improvement?
Tidebreak is pioneering new techniques that directly measure learning activities by instrumenting learning spaces themselves. Our newly-released TideScope Analytics™ utility lets institutions collect data and then visually map student and faculty learning interactions. Now you can provide quantitative evidence and visual data representations that reveal the effect of new learning space designs.
Building Collaborative Learning Spaces: Lessons from the Front lines
The theme for the 2009 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative meeting — “Participation and Collaboration: Social Learning for the 21st Century” — is a natural fit for Tidebreak.
Three institutions — Stanford University, Loyola University Chicago and Boise State University — will relate their experiences from deploying TeamSpot and ClassSpot, together with other new technologies, focusing particularly on the practical realities they’ve encountered. A panel session will offer a broad perspective and include the results from analyzing quantitative usage data. In Faculty Innovation Showcase one instructor will discuss how he teaches a collaborative writing course using TeamSpot and where he has seen clear benefits both for him and his students.
Facing Budget Woes: “Innovate or Die”
To say 2009 brings uncertainty may be understating the situation. Tidebreak’s customers and contacts in higher education tell of budget cuts as high as 30%, major departmental reorganizations, travel freezes, and staff layoffs that sometimes include the CIO. Yet in spite of all this, expectations among students and faculty for campus technology services remain high. Institutions need to figure out how to continue exploring creative new uses of technology while simultaneously lowering the overall cost of their operations.
When I helped found Penn State’s Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education in the early 1990’s, the Director was fond of saying that all organizations need to “Innovate or Die.” That phrase has particular relevance in today’s economic climate. Incremental changes are unlikely to address the challenges academic institutions are just beginning to face. Many “old” practices will need to change dramatically or else “die.”
Tidebreak is supporting sustainable learning space innovation by building products that offer expanded capabilities at lower cost and tools that let our customers measure the ROI of their deployments. We’re actively working with institutions around the world to help them emerge from the current downturn in a stronger position than before.
We hope the ideas that we’ve shared in this inaugural issue of Next Wave — and those we will share in future issues — will be valuable in your work. As you see fit, I invite you to visit Tidebreak’s website or contact a member of our team to learn how Tidebreak can help you drive sustainable innovation on your campus.
Andrew J. Milne, Ph.D.