Tag Archives: Building planning

Learning Caves

I met yesterday with Beckie Etheridge and Stern Neill in order to talk about their idea to apply for a Founder’s Endowment Grant that would transform some spaces in the library into “Learning Caves.”  Basically, what they want to do is take the area currently housing the maps collection and the ADA workstation (and a few tables) and add some movable furniture and some pretty neat technology in order to

Develop and implement a space where students can create and apply knowledge… (and) to enhance student learning through the development of a semi-private, reservable space where individuals and groups can develop meaning, understanding, and/or solutions.

The technology we are currently looking at is a small server, a large LCD screen, and software called TeamSpot.  What the TeamSpot software does is allows multiple users to connect to and control a single, large, collaborative screen.  The technology is currently at use in OUGL and several other places on the Montlake Branch.  They call the spaces “collaboration studios” we would call them “learning caves:” branding is the only real difference here.

I’m really sold on the simplicity and functionality of TeamSpot and so I have recommended to the ad hoc committee that we propose the cadillac program have two of these in Lib 122 (the maps area), the slightly downgraded version has just one in LIB 122 and the Broke Down Coupe DeVille version retrofits the room upstairs but includes the TeamSpot software.

Check it out and you’ll see why I’m so excited by it.


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Filed under Building planning, Strategic Planning, Technology Pulse

Literature review for building planning

As William S. Burroughs once famously said “Well, this is insane.”

I can’t believe how much information there is available on the Information Commons (Learning Commons, etc)  idea.  So many places have been ramping up on and studying this idea since it first burst on the scene in 2004 (ish — it’s actually a much older idea) that there is literally an overload of information.

I have started gathering some of the links and resources here but I’m really going to need a sub-folder called like “gems” or something in order to sort the wheat from the chaff.  For example, Suzanne rightly pointed out The Media Lab at MIT who say things like:

The Media Lab is a place where the future is lived, not imagined… The Lab’s language of invention is the demo: working examples that blend sophisticated technologies, emerging business models, and human expression.

Wow, and they have been doing this since 1980.  So, they have longevity, resources, the brightest minds, a clear vision and a building designed by I.M. Pei and we can’t compete with that.  But what I’m hoping we can do is take some of these and other places’ great ideas and do them with the resources, time, and brilliance we do have.

As I work my way through this huge pile of documents I’ll try to pull together some thoughts and put them up here.  Stay tuned!

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Filed under Strategic Planning