Photo By Steve Kuzma / Students work on a project in Washtenaw Community College’s new collaborative classroom.
It’s an intriguing, cutting-edge tool that’s being used to bring students back to the campus and revive the diminishing face-to-face interaction in today’s technology-driven world.
More than a year in the making, the Learning Resources Division at Washtenaw Community College has been working relentlessly to create a new classroom – located in the Business Education building, room 110 – that’s designed to promote more active, hands-on, collaborative learning among students. The classroom officially launched this fall.
“It’s very exciting to see the classroom in action,” said Victor Liu, dean of Learning Resources at WCC. The classroom was born out of one of the college’s strategic priorities to “increase institutional agility and responsiveness … through an institutional focus on judiciously integrating technologies into the learning process.”
“We’ve been careful not to implement new technology just for technology’s sake because in the world we live in, technology is changing every month or every week even,” Liu said. “From the beginning of the project, we were mindful to use technology that would enhance the educational experience of our students and so far, it’s been successful.”
In the classroom, there are five huddle tables, each accommodating six students. At each table and its surrounding space, there’s one flat screen, one whiteboard and one central computer students can use to complete group projects.
Here’s the wow factor: Students can bring their own wireless devices and project whatever’s on their laptop, iPad or smartphone to the central computer and flat screen, allowing the entire class to see exactly what’s on their personal screens. Additionally, there’s a Sit-to-Stand Lectern and main overhead projector screen that the instructor uses to communicate with the class and project what’s on the flat screens.
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