Thoughts on iLab type space (Uni of Essex)

I ran a workshop in University of Essex’s iLab (http://www.essex.ac.uk/ilabs). This space divided into different areas and functions. I’ve uploaded a few images on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25246864@N08/tags/ilabessex/)

There was a specific computer area – four round tables with 4 laptops on each table. The wall was curved and you could write on it (one big flipchart). It was all very nice, and enabled lots of group work. A few things struck me as nice touches (compared to when I’ve worked in similar spaces at other institutions). I used their polling software (as opposed to clickers). So worth remembering, infact, worth looking at setting up to run in different spaces (just need access to the web). There were a few touches that would have made the experience even better, easy access to a collective space for documents we created (each group had to create a presentation), and the ability to project from the individual machines. We had to upload each presentation to a USB stick, and slot this into the main presenters’ device. Finally, having run a few sessions in this type of space, I finish up having to take quite a few photos of the writings on the wall. I keep thinking, there must be an easier way?

The photos I uploaded include pictures of the non-computer space. I was particular impressed by how they used flat screen displays, and ceiling effects to enhance the feel / atmosphere of the space without significant investments.

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