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Interactive, Collaborative--and Affordable--Classrooms

High-tech, interactive "sandbox" classrooms don't have to cost big bucks.

This story appears in the June 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology.

Carroll College (MT) wants to build engaging, collaborative classrooms, but--like many schools--it doesn't have a lot of money to spare. Working with faculty, Dan Case, director of academic technology, discovered that it is possible to create high-tech spaces at a fraction of the price of similar rooms at other schools. Today, Carroll College has its first "sandbox" classroom in place, with plans to build more such spaces. Case explained his strategy to CT.

In designing the sandbox classroom, what were the key criteria?

Courtesy of Carroll College

"It had to be simple...flexible...and it needed to be cost-effective." --Dan Case, director of academic technology, Carroll College

How does the sandbox function?

Courtesy of Carroll College

"It's meant to be a collaborative, project-based environment.... There is no teacher station.... It's simple...moveable...and even works without technology." --Dan Case

What were some of the lessons learned?

Courtesy of Carroll College

"The students love to have horizontal and vertical work spaces.... Whiteboard paint has been a huge hit.... We also realized that the cloud is the way things are going to go, and this type of environment lends itself to collaboration in the cloud." --Dan Case

What are some of the tools in the sandbox?

Courtesy of Carroll College

"Wireless tools help us interact with the content and create a more collaborative space.... You can use your end device--an iPad, an Android phone, or an iPhone--to remotely control the computer that is connected to the display device." --Dan Case

Editor's note: Dan Case will present two breakout sessions about interactive, collaborative classrooms at CT 2013 in Boston, July 29-Aug. 1.

About the Author

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

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