Introduction to the Design Technology Classrooms
Brainstorming Session
College of Education Spring Faculty Meeting
May 11, 2004
(Follow up: September 22, 2004 Faculty Meeting)
(Summary of Faculty Ideas and Three Page Design Concept Executive Summary)

College Technology Committee (Carole Ames, Patrick Dickson, Mary Kennedy, Mary Lundeberg, Susan Melnick, Gail Nutter, Cindy Okolo, John Powell, Cheryl Rosaen, Michelle Torres, Matt Wawrzynski, Sue Way, Yong Zhao)

Handout. Some background and issues.

Three Minutes of History and Perspective

Technology Exploration Center in 133 Erickson opened October 12, 1995.

Rapid changes have overtaken its design.

Why Do We Need Redesign?

Laptops (College Technology Committee voted to require them.)
Wireless Connections (everywhere...Starbucks, courtyards)
High Speed Connections
Online Learning
Technology Expectations in All College Programs
Nurture Learning Communities. (Design as Retention Tool: Ga Tech)

Example: 509 Erickson Bay. Creativity Spaces CS2.
Make Scholarly Work Visible. Foster Collaboration.

Celebrations."Sometimes all it takes is putting food in the right place."
Isaac Colbert, MIT Graduate Dean on how to foster interdisciplinary collaboration. Science, 28 Mar 2003.

Student and Teacher Ownership of Technologies

Example: Survey of CEP 240 Students in Spring 2003.
When they firs
t.... What they have in their rooms

Intellectually and Aesthetically Interesting Issue

MSU's ICTC: Recommendation to Provost: Redesign Spaces
"We cannot teach in MSU's computer classrooms the way we are supposed to teach."

"We prefer to use our own computers in our rooms. They're better."

Major Issue at Every University ... Needs Thought in K-12 Schools.

Educause National Learning Infrastructure Initiative

Take a look at the "key themes":

Interacts with Pedagogy and Subject Matter

Science, Vol 304, Issue 5670, 521-522 , 23 April 2004
EDUCATION: Scientific Teaching. Diane Ebert-May, co-author.
See redesigned physics classroom.

Examples to Stimulate Your Imaginations

George Mason's Innovation Hall.

Georgia Tech Library

Emory College

Central Michigan University

MSU's Spaces: A Gallery



Background Notes from Talk to MSU Faculty

Introduction. The College Technology Committee is developing a plan for the redesign of 133 Erickson (the "Technology Exploration Center") with a view to making it better serve the needs of the College. The redesign is needed in part because of changes such as widespread use of laptops, wireless networking, and increasing access to high speed connections and computers at home by students and faculty.

We are beginning the process by asking you for your suggestions and ideas for 133 Erickson and for technology in the College more broadly. We welcome comments and suggestions for any of the spaces in the College or your needs for software, hardware, and support. Be creative! Think outside the box!

Some ideas and tensions to keep in mind.

Remember that we are focusing on 133 Erickson today, but we welcome your ideas about ways to improve all spaces and technologies in support of your research and teaching.

133 Erickson is large (equal to 4 classrooms), which allows for multiple "spaces" in it.
133 has three sets of doors, allowing for entry into three "separate" zones without disturbing the others.
133 is "open", visually and acoustically, which has pros and cons (especially noise). We would like to keep the space "open" but there may be a need for "dividers" of some kind... physical, acoustical, lighting.
133 might include a small cafe similar to the MSU Library.
133 should be socially inviting, but it can't become a cluttered clubhouse for a few.
133 should serve as many constituencies as possible: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff.

Think differently about time use in 133. It may be best to move away from scheduling the space for an entire semester for single courses to a pattern of scheduling smaller chunks of time for more courses and activities. Similarly, time of day and uses nights and weekends needs to be considered. The space is currently underutilized most times.

Design needs to balance flexibility (moveable furniture, computers, etc.) and predictability. (Rearranging furniture allows spontaneity, but can upset the next users' expectations and plans, especially if the flexibility results in technologies not working.)
Hardware and software affects usefulness. What do you need? High quality DVD video and sound? Multiple projectors? Smart boards?

Your suggestions please. The CTC member at your table will take notes on the discussion, but we would appreciate your taking time to write your suggestions and hand them in or send them via email to the committee (

We will prepare a report based on your suggestions and today's discussions and share it with everyone in the College for further discussion.

Overview. Purpose of today's session is to offer stimulate discussion among MSU faculty, staff , and students about ideas for future directions in the design of "technology classrooms" and integration of technology into our learning environments. Attending today are some ICTC members and MSU staff who play a role in these decisions. But we all need to provide ideas and input.


Changes in technologies
Changes in student experiences and expectations.
Changes in teaching

National Context.

National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of Educause. I would encourage you to take a few minutes to visit the following links for a window on what's "hot" in technology and higher education.
The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative is being led by

EDUCAUSE, perhaps the most influential organization with respect to information technologies in higher education.Consider this NLII "concept map" for example:
"The NLII organizes its work around key themes chosen annually from the larger domain of the transformation of teaching and learning with technology. The NLII has begun plotting this domain space visually in a concept map to gain a higher-level view of the relationships between themes."
National Learning Infrastructure Initiative

Take a look at the "key themes":

games, simulations, and learning
learning space design
mobile learning
learner-centered principles, design and practice
electronic portfolios
virtual communities of practice

Changes in Students

Example: Survey of CEP 240 Students in Spring 2003.
When they firs
t.... What they have in their rooms...

See also recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what students expect.
Note too ICTC interviews with students who said they rarely used computer labs or library.

A few years ago, at least in Erickson, "educational technology" meant primarily technology for K-12 education. In the past five years, with the Web, Blackboard, Angel, hybrid courses, online courses, etc., educational technology has come to much greater prominence in higher education.


Danielle DeVoss sent these:

Hello! I've attached a couple of pictures of the two labs in Bessey (there are more labs in Bessey, but there are the two that break the conventional row-oriented design).
The floorplans are also online via the Microlabs official page:
Bessey 214 floorplans:
Bessey 317 floorplans:

Spaces in Erickson... as examples of design... and design overtaken by time...

Technology Exploration Center

Think small: The LTC Spaces for PhD students (Learning, Technology and Culture)

Georgia Tech Library.