Following on from the first blog task I am interested in how the new ‘technology lounge’ for staff at our University is starting to take shape. It is meant to be a place where staff can meet and discuss how they may incorporate new technologies into their teaching and learning practice and was designed around the idea of a coffee shop/Apple store.
Putting myself into a teacher’s perspective, I have spent some time in the lounge early in the morning before work trying to think how a teacher may use the space and I have also watched how some of the early previews and workshops have taken place.
Below is how the ‘lounge’ was initially setup (these images also appear in Blog task #1).
It is important to note that the ‘lounge’ is not fully open yet and there is still some work to do but watching the ‘beta’ users is very interesting.
The training rooms in the background are right next to the ‘coffee lounge’ area and watching both spaces being used at the same time it is apparent that the noise levels are a problem.
To date we have run a few workshops, held some training sessions and some project meetings in the space and it is very interesting to watch how people are moving the furniture around to make it suit their needs as much as they can. Here is how the lounge looked this morning before anyone got in to arrange it back to its default position:
In the first picture, staff have taken one of the coffee tables and some chairs and placed them around one of the touch screens that supports desktop sharing.
In the second picture they have just cleared the coffee tables and chairs out, then replaced them with some more practical chairs and tables from the nearby kitchen area. These are more comfortable to sit at with laptops, writing pads etc.
Now for the really interesting one, which is a real statement about the coffee tables that were provided:
I went back to the lounge this afternoon to see how the training today went. There has been some question about the practicality of the really low ‘coffee tables’. At some point today someone found a solution to that – they stacked one on top of the other and have a table of reasonable height now with a ‘shelf’ underneath for bags etc.
Even before the space is open to all staff it is apparent that there is a lot to learn about how we may be able to make better use of the space.
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