July 31, 2009

Technology Plans for New Business Building Mix Bits with Bricks

From the third floor faculty offices to the sprawling outdoor courtyard, plans for the new Rawls College of Business building call for a web of wireless technology designed to connect students and faculty to the business world. But for all the binary bells and whistles being plugged into this project, the most surprising feature may be what got scrapped from design plans — the computer lab.

Instead of solving faculty and student’s needs for technology access the traditional way with a room filled with rows of computers, college administrators designed the entire building as a virtual, technology-friendly space, and the resulting litany of features is enough to make any technophile jealous.

Classrooms in the new building will be outfitted for distance learning with ceiling mounted cameras and video broadcasting capabilities. Lectures will be automatically captured and available to be published on the college’s Web site before students and faculty have time to change classes.

A variety of digital display technologies will be used throughout the space, replacing blackboards in classrooms and equipping breakout rooms with LCD screens and laptop connections for study sessions and project collaboration.

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