Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Todd Hall 105: Boeing Wireless Classroom of the Future

This is the classroom of the future at Washington STate University, funded in 2003 by Boeing. One article I saw referred to it as a cross between Ikea and the Starship Enterprise. While I'm not sure I hold with that characterization, I think it's an interesting one. I wonder if this is really how kids will learn in the future. I kind of doubt it. Even at Marietta, where we have a 12:1 student: professor ratio, we still have few classrooms of this size as many classes are 15-20 people. A few are even larger. We're experimenting with new types of spaces, but I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Granted, we no longer need all classrooms to support the "sage on a stage" mentality, but the key to new learning space is flexiblity. This space doesn't look very flexible to me if you're not willing to have an encounter session on the beanbag chairs.

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