C-Level View | Feature

Learning in 'the Living [Class] Room'

Convergent technologies have the ability to support streams of low-cost, personalized content, both at home and in college.

This story appears in the November 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology. Click here for a free subscription to the magazine.

"The current business model of higher education is on its last legs," advises Daniel Christian, senior instructional designer at Calvin College (MI). "Students need more accessible, affordable means of gaining knowledge and experience." In four short video clips, Christian explains why he thinks "the living [class] room" offers a possible solution.

What do you mean by "the living [class] room"?


Video courtesy of Steven Niedzielski and Calvin College, with graphics by Sam Beckett

"It's a concept that relies upon the massive convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer.... If we think of TV on demand, we can also think of learning on demand. It's about accessing up-to-date, real-world, relevant learning materials...many of them for free."

Why consider this now?


Video courtesy of Steven Niedzielski and Calvin College, with graphics by Sam Beckett

"Besides the perfect storm amassed within higher education, several trends and forces are coming together as catalysts for this vision: digital and transmedia-based storytelling, mobile learning and social media, learning analytics, and more. Second screens and related cloud-based applications and technologies are also coming together."

What are some examples of applications and technologies for "the living [class] room"?


Video courtesy of Steven Niedzielski and Calvin College, with graphics by Sam Beckett

"'The living [class] room' will integrate intelligent systems and tutoring--such as what IBM is working on with Watson in cognitive computing. Other applications include web-based learner profiles...digital textbooks, interactive video, serious games...and web-based collaborations."

What skill sets will be needed to make "the living [class] room" a reality?


Video courtesy of Steven Niedzielski and Calvin College, with graphics by Sam Beckett

"Several types of design skills--instructional design, user-interface design, 2D and 3D graphic design.... We will need people skilled in machine-to-machine communications, interactive video, photography, animation, and project management.... Most important, we will still need subject-matter experts who can facilitate the learning."

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