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Bridging the Gap Between Classroom Learning and Career Skills

An innovative sandbox at Bentley University encourages students to explore careers and other opportunities utilizing today's collaborative technologies.

This story appeared in the November 2012 digital edition of Campus Technology.

In September 2011, Bentley University (MA) opened its Computer Information Systems Learning and Technology Sandbox, transforming a traditional computer lab into a state-of-the-art facility where students can explore course, career, and extracurricular interests supported by today's social, mobile, and collaborative technologies. In this continually changing space, students connect with their peers, teachers, tutors, mentors--even potential employers. To learn how the sandbox helps students forge a connection between academics and career skills, CT interviewed Mark Frydenberg, director of the CIS Sandbox, and two of the facility's student assistants.

The CIS Sandbox provides new opportunities for students to explore their potential. Can you give an example of a recent initiative?

Courtesy of Bentley University

"The 21st century learning lab has to bridge the gap between what students are learning in their classrooms and the skills they need to excel in their careers.... Holding career events in the CIS Sandbox makes a direct connection between what students are learning, where they are learning it, and the careers they will begin when they graduate." --Mark Frydenberg

How does the sandbox help students develop their career skills?

Courtesy of Bentley University

"One of the things that really separates the Bentley CIS Sandbox from other computer labs is that here the employees are really encouraged to work on their own to improve the lab." --Jim Petersen, student assistant, CIS Sandbox

How are social media and collaboration technologies used in the sandbox?

Courtesy of Bentley University

"We use social media to create a virtual presence that aligns with the physical space here, where students gather in person. Our strategy is relatively simple: Connect with students using the same tools they use to connect with each other." --Mark Frydenberg

About the Author

Mary Grush is Editor and Conference Program Director, Campus Technology.

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