University of Calgary

Dropping In

Submitted by alumni on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 23:21.

Dropping In

Join us as we pop into a class of students who are tackling messy problems such as how to feed 9 billion people. This Global Challenges course is being taught in radical new ways.
by Deb Cummings


What was first dubbed a “teaching podium” has become a “teaching lectern,” and collaborative carts have morphed into pods. So new is the Taylor Institute for Learning (TI) that terms and language, like the space’s usage, are still evolving. One constant, however, is that these classrooms (er, “studios”) are likely nothing like you’ve seen before.

Take a peek:

1 Wheels

In any of TI’s five single learning studios, you’ll spot scores of wheels — about 335 per studio, on every table, chair, screen, whiteboard and collab-cart.

2 Collaboration Carts/Pods

Each of the 37 mobile carts include a 50-inch, touch-enabled LCD screen, a webcam, microphone, speaker for video conferencing and pre-installed apps.

3 Teaching Lectern

Think of this stand-up desk as Mission Control for profs. What’s found on this “table” gives them access to a drop-down 10-ft. screen, as well as to individual screens on the mobile carts and in the breakout areas. Tap the Active Living icon on the touch panel and you control the blinds, lighting and audio. A selection of wireless mics also live on this table, as does a document camera and a wireless mouse that doubles as a clicker.

4 Projector

This powerful laser projector means no bulbs, no heat, a longer lifespan and instant-on capability.

5 Skyfold Walls

The five studios can easily become two by adjusting these slick, pantograph-style walls. We timed the transformation: 1 min. 36 sec. for a 14-ft. wall to zip up.


Read on to take a peek outside TI’s studios →