Blended learning is all about breaking free of the restraints of space and time. You can do it any time, any place, any pace. Providing an technology enhanced campus is all about mastering space and time: what can you do in the space and when?
The distinction between IT and AV is becoming increasingly blurred- it’s all digital now. For many colleagues it is the technology context; the technology available in the teaching rooms, which influences their choice whether to use cameras, microphones, audio, video, images, visualisations, Google-earth fly throughs, clips from movies, recorded TV programmes, who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-style voting, virtual worlds, touch screens, simulations, animations, infographics and datasets in their presentations.
For many colleagues it is their fear ( or prior experience) that the technology will not work in the room which exacerbates the stress of presenting. For many colleagues it is a complete mystery as to why the local IT staff who support the presentation machine do not support the data projector too. This situation is not unique to Edinburgh.
The layout of the room (and the number of power sockets) shapes choices with regard to students using laptops, cameras and phones to create learning materials for themselves. The strength of the wireless broadband determines whether video can be watched, shared and downloaded by many students at the same time. The comfiness of the seats, the ability to come and go and the proximity to coffee influences whether student choose to remain in this place while they learn.
When colleagues are asked to show innovation in ‘front of house’ teaching it behooves the colleges and schools to invest well in technology enhanced space for an excellent student experience.
The Learning Spaces Technology Section team work to ensure that teachers and students have the best possible, quality and consistent, choices of technology in centrally managed classrooms and study spaces. Jim and his team ensure that equal access to learning is offered via hearing loops, large projection and recordings for revision or transcription. When the festival comes they take our AV kit out, when the festival goes they put our AV kit back in. They turn around fast and they work to ensure that the kit will work when you poke it with your digit to turn it on. They will also train you how to use it.
If you are interested in knowing more about the kit in the classrooms, or having a practice to become confident in the digital skills needed to master it, do contact us.