Saturday, April 03, 2010

Computer reconfigurable classroom

Animated Work Environment at Clemson UniversityControl Freaks (Russell Fortmeyer, Architectural Record, March 2010) claims that pervasive computer sensors and controls will radically reshape our approach to environmental controls in buildings, architecture more generally and city planning. One extreme example given is a computerised classroom which literally changes shape in response to the needs of the students. The Clemson University "Animated Work Environment" has proximity sensors to detect what the users are doing, it then adjusts not only the lighting but uses motors to move panels suspended above and around the users. In another example computer controlled water jets in the foyer of the Digital Water Pavilion in Zaragoza, Spain automatically detect someone approaching and switch off enough of the water curtain to let them pass.

The Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne has a set of programmable water jets in the foyer. However, these are separated from the guests and are used with a pre-programmed music and light show with no interaction with the environment and no attempt to use the for environmental conditioning.

Having motor controlled panels as in the Clemson University system looks problematic. Apart from the high cost of installation, there would be issues of maintenance and safety. Perhaps a more feasible way to reconfigure a workplace or classroom is with lighting. Low cost LED computer controlled red - blue - green lights are now becoming affordable. These have been used on new airliners, such as the Boeing 787, to allow the lighting of the cabin to be reconfigured depending on the phase of the flight and the outside conditions. This allows, for example, a warmer sunrise colour to be used to wake the passengers, after a long flight.

In the classroom the programmable lights could be used to optically reconfigure the shape of the room. For an intimate face-to-face discussion the room could be made round by dimming the lighting in the corners. For a traditional lecture, the room could be made fan shaped with the lecturer brightly lit at the apex. For individual work, each student workstation could be surrounded by a darkened space, increasing the sense of separation. This could be done at relatively low cost,m with no moving parts and no maintenance (the LED lights have a lifetime of about 15 years, at least equal to the life of a classroom).

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

School of One

School of One is a pilot program by the New York City Department of Education to customise education for each student. The result is similar to the flexible learning techniques being used by vocational and higher learning institutions. Each student has a custom daily schedule of one-to-one tutoring, independent study, e-learning and traditional classroom education. Students proceed at their own pace, with testing to help determine not only what level they are at, but what learning style will suit.

Architectural Record, January 2010 ("School of One" Charles Linn) features possible designs for schools to support the School of One. The designs appear very simpler to Australian design for flexible school buildings, with an emphasis on open plan, using changes in direction to replace walls and doors. The article describes a reception area, similar to a business lobby with display screens,. where students would get their plan for the day.

Interestingly for the first School of One, with four teachers and 80 students, the library of a NY school was used. Modular tables and screens were arranged into different configurations. This suggests a more flexible arrangement similar to the learning centre which many vocational and higher education libraries are evolving into.

The School of One idea suffers from some obvious limitations: it downplays the role of groups in learning by emphasising each student as an individual unit. It treats the student as a passive consumer of education to be given their daily program of education, rather than an active decision maker. It assumes a greater level of resources to be able to provide the student with more individual and custom programs. It ignores the role of the Internet and the wider world in learning.

The same issue of Architectural Record also contains an article on the renovation of an old school building for the "Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School" in Washington, D.C. (Architects Hickok Cole, article by Joann Gonchar). This provides a more realistic model for the school of the future, as it is having to adapt the old school infrastructure to a more flexible style of learning.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book on designing classrooms

Space and learning: lessons in architecture 3 (Herman Hertzberger, 2008) seems a book out of its time. It provides 208 pages of theory and case studies on the design of everything from preschools to university and schools in the community. This work might be better described as the Montessori approach to school design as many of Hertzberger's case studies are of Montessori schools. To me the photos and descriptions seem to be more aligned to the radical 1960s than this century, but perhaps that is the nature of pioneering work.

Many of the concepts of the school designs in the book (and the Montessori method of education), when stripped of their philosophical superstructure, are very similar to current approaches to e-learning, pedagogy and andragogy. These assume that the student is self motivated to study. The educator aims to provide resorces which the student can choose to use when they need them, rather than according to an external timetable.Different learning materials are provided to suit different student's requirements. The education includes social skills working together with other students, with the educator to guide, not tell the students what to do. Exercises are grounded in real world problems, rather than academic theory. Students with different skills and experience can learn from each other.

The book can be previewed at Google books.

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Glow in the dark interlocking floor tiles

At the RACV Australia Day Picnic and Federation Vehicle Display in Kings Domain, Melbourne I noticed the use of interlocking plastic tiles to protect the grass. The produce used was Pro-Floor , which appears similar to the tiles I was looking at using for classroom floors. I notice they even offer one type which glows in the dark. The idea isn't that you cover the whole floor with glow tiles, just mark out evacuation routes and the like.Link


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saving money and energy in the learning commons

The University of Canberra is remodelling one floor of its library into a Learning Commons. Library users were asked for input so I should put in some comments, about the use of furniture, computers and lighting. Here are some more comments about floor space, air conditioning and lights:
  1. Reduce floor area: A major determinate of cost and environmental impact of a building is size: the bigger the building, the higher the financial and ecological cost. I suggest using a higher density of seating than is usual in learning commons: twice that currently used in the University of Canberra library. This can be done by using compact computers, carefully positioning seating and interspersing desktop and laptop positions. A space allocation of 2 m2 per student could be achieved with careful design. This could halve the cost of facility.
  2. Separate Air Conditioning: As the learning commons will be open when the rest of the library is closed, a separate air conditioning system should be used, which just conditions that floor. This will save having to heat or cool the whole building, as is done at present. If there are several enclosed rooms, these can be air conditioned separately, so unused rooms are not conditioned.
  3. Automated lights: Normally libraries leave all lights on when any of the building is open, even when large areas are unused. Lights should shift to a lower power setting when an area is unoccupied and switch back to full power when someone enters. This can be done much more simply with LED lights than with fluorescent lights. It should be noted that lights should not switch off completely in open plan areas for safety reasons. Lights can switch off in closed rooms when they are unoccupied and on again when the door is opened.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Designing a Learning Commons

The University of Canberra is remodelling one floor of its library into a Learning Commons. This is to provide more access to computers and facilities for group work. The library users have been asked for input and plans will be on display in June. As a user who has made a study of such learning commons, I thought I should put in some comments:

Some thoughts on a design
  1. Movable furniture is not necessarily flexible: Many of the designs I have looked at use movable items of furniture, on the assumption this makes the space "flexible". In practice the furniture rarely gets moved, after the initial novelty of being able to move it wares off (apart from when the students get playful and use it for furniture sculpture). Where computers and data access is used having movable furniture become very expensive and creates a large maintenance bill. I suggest instead having fixed, low cost furniture with built in wiring, which and be used in different ways, but without having to be moved. Expensive proprietary cabling systems and modular furniture are not needed: cheap laminate will do. The University of Queensland Ezones have a good arrangement with custom made curved desks with wire baskets under the desks to hold the cabling.
  2. Mix laptop and desktops: One trend has been to provide separate areas for laptops and desktop computers, with the laptops tending to get less space. Instead I suggest mixing the two. An example would be to furnish every second workspace with a desktop computer. This would allow for people with laptops, or for people who don't need a computer. It would also allow space for a group of students to cluster around one screen when working together.
  3. Keep some books and magazines: It is a little depressing to go into a library and not be able to find any books or printed periodicals. I suggest retaining some of these.
  4. Movable walls: While moving furniture is difficult, having movable walls is comparatively easy. The University of Queensland Ezones have a good arrangement with training rooms having sliding glass wall, so they can be opened up to the common area when not in use for a class. The space and computers in these rooms then become available for general use.
  5. Thin Clients: More space and less clutter is possible if very small computer processor boxes are used. There are computers available fitted into the screens, but this limits the range of models available. Most computers provided do not require DVD/CD drives.
  6. Combined digital signage and instruction screens: Large LCD screens are now reasonably priced. The library envisages using these for digital signage to stream news to the students. Some of these screens could do double duty being available for group work and then switching to digital signage when not otherwise needed.
  7. Green ICT: The library needs to look at the energy costs of what is proposed. The Library already uses low power thin client computers for catalog enquires and should look at upgraded devices in place PCs for most of the commons. Also LCD screens with low power features should be looked at (although these tend to be more expensive).
  8. Food: Provision for food should be made.
  9. Business metaphor: One useful metaphor I read somewhere (anyone see the reference?) was to think of the learning commons like a business, with a reception desk, offices and the like. This might be a better metaphor for the students to understand than the learning commons (which is rather a mixed metaphor anyway).
How to improve the consultation process:
  1. More clearly communicate the project to the customers: The library invited comments, but this was done in a printed newsletter with small print taped to a wall in the library. They could have used a larger sign. The electronic version of the newsletter is not in a format accessible to the disabled, making it hard for everyone to find and read (I have untangled the broken sentances and words below). It would also help to have explicit instructions on how to comment.
  2. Provide some examples: I spent a year going around Australia and overseas looking at flexible learning centers and learning commons at universities, schools and the private sector and so have an idea as to what is intended. The average library client will have no idea and so it would help to provide some illustrations of examples of what has been done at other libraries.
The Library has been funded to transform Level B of the Library into a Learning Commons. Features include:
  • After-hours access to computers and printers (when the Library is closed)
  • A range of flexible furniture to facilitate group work
  • More computers
  • More power for laptop users
  • LCD screens for streaming news
The layout and facilities of Level B are being redesigned in response to stu-dent preferences for Library spaces The Law collection will move to that support collaborative learn-Level D with a new group studying and social networking, integrate room nearby. Training Room 1 will with access to information resources and productivity software, assist with research and roving help with technology. Major work will commence in August to improve these Library environments.

From May to July, preliminary works for the Learning Commons space will improve facilities for quiet study on the Library’s Level D “quiet zone”.

The Law collection will move to Level D with a new group study room nearby. Training Room 1 will relocate to Level A greatly reducing noise from people traffic on Level D. Detailed plans will be on display in June in the Library foyer. During May, students and staff can have their ideas influence the Learning Commons final design by completing a form for the Suggestion Box in the Library foyer or by going online to the Library website.

From: Under Construction! The Library Learning Commons, Library News, University of Canberra, Autumn Issue ISSN 1836-862x

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Designing the Learning Precinct

In "The New Design Partnership" (Teacher Magazine, Australian Council for Educational Research, December 2008) architect HamiltonWilson discusses the design of flexible learning spaces at Queensland universities and schools. He criticises traditional learning spaces which assume that pedagogy was exclusively in a didactic mode (that is teachers talking at students). In reality there is a need to support collaborative work much of the time. He discusses the way learning modes can be switched at the Collaborative Learning and Teaching Centre at University of Queensland by electronic screens and lighting.

The library is moving from an individual pursuit to one with some coursework. The new Balnaves Foundation Multimedia Learning Centre at Bond University is given as an example of this (hopefully the building is more functional than the clumsy name). A large art gallery space was converted into a series of subtly defined study spaces using furniture and technology. A third example given is a new Integrated Learning Centre being built at Brisbane Grammar School.

One point the article doesn't make is about the relative costs of these new learning spaces versus traditional classrooms. The new designs tend to take more floorspace and require more expensive technology. The cost of computers and interactive whiteboards is dropping. Also if the flexible spaces are used to replace classrooms, the costs should be comparable. However, administrators need to keep in mind that unless carefully planned the cost to maintain the Learning Precinct could be much higher than traditional classrooms and libraries. The learning technology and high technology fit out can require frequent maintenance, technology upgrades and be subject to frequent failures, disrupting classes.

ps: This positing was prepared at the Tuggeranong Library. This is both a public library and and part of the Lake Tuggeranong College and is an excellent example of efficient use of learning resources.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Eco-Design Handbook

The Eco-Design Handbook by Alastair Fuad-Luke, has photos and brief descriptions of an interesting collection of hundreds of environmentally sensitive products, and the suppliers. Unfortunately it is a little out of date, being published in 2005. Amongst the intersting products were the Westborough Primary School’s Cardboard Building and quikaboard lightweight honeycomb building sheets.
Product Description

The Eco-Design Handbook is the first book to present the best-designed objects for every aspect of the home and office, including the most environmentally sound materials and building products. Some of these pieces have already become classics, others have been uncovered from far-away places or difficult-to-find one-person studios. The book contains three essential components. An introduction puts forward the history and latest thinking in green design strategies. Its core comprises two sections devoted to detailed illustrated descriptions of objects for domestic living and products for the office or work-related activities. The third element is a vast reference source, defining available materials, from organic to specially developed eco-sensitive composites and then providing detailed information on manufacturers, design studios, green organizations, online information, as well as further reading and a glossary of useful terms and concepts. Lastly, a comprehensive index makes it possible for the reader to find any product, designer or manufacturer instantly. This is a complete resource, equally invaluable for the broad consumer market and for design professionals. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

* Paperback: 352 pages
* Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; 2nd edition (March 2005)
* ISBN-10: 0500285217
* ISBN-13: 978-0500285213

From: Eco-Design Handbook, description in, 2008

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Education and Contextualism

Education and Contextualism: Architects Design Partnership"Education and Contextualism" (Edited by Duncan McCorquodale) presents the work by Architects Design Partnership, concentrating on their work on the design of education buildings. One chapter of the book focuses on designing for e-learning and the use of technology in schools and universities.

The chapter on electronic learning features designs for individual computer equipped study booths for the Learning Centre of Canterbury Christ Church University. These a S shaped units with one student accommodated in the U shaped section of on each side, with a curved wall between them. The accompanying floor plan shows six of these modules along with cafe style seating, larger group tables and some book stacks in a learning centre. Later on a drop-in open access computer area is shown at Brunel University.

On its web site the ADP practice features several education projects:
  1. Western House Primary
  2. Riverhead Infants School
  3. Highgate School
  4. Building Schools for the Future
  5. Ealing Institute of Media
  6. Aston Business School Conference Centre
  7. The School of Sport and Exercise Science
Unfortunately like many architects, while their buildings may be inspiring, ADP's web site is frustratingly difficult to read. It is unfortunate that they did not apply the clear and analytical approach to the site, which they have to the book.
Editorial Reviews
About the Author
Education and Contextualism focuses on Architecture Design Partnership’s work for schools, universities and colleges. The book begins by placing the founding of the practice against the cultural backdrop of the 1960s. The reader is then taken on a journey through ADP’s development, taking in their major educational projects, which encompass a wide variety of purposes -- lecture halls; dormitories and boarding houses; sports facilities; education spaces for specialist subjects such as Art, Technology, Sport, Medicine; and Information Technology and E-learning. The book follows ADP’s work both for new projects and their extensions and additions to historic and listed buildings. In doing so, ADP’s concern with building materials, budget, regeneration, landscaping, and environmental context is fully explored. Education and Contextualism reflects ADP’s unique approach to architecture and is a worthy celebration of the practice’s 40th anniversary.
Product Details

* Hardcover: 184 pages
* Publisher: Black Dog Publishing (October 2007)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1904772714
* ISBN-13: 978-1904772712

From the page for "Education and Contextualism"

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Modular learning commons desk at ANU Library Menzies

I dropped into the R. G. Menzies Building to pick up a copy of "Running the war in Iraq"from the ANU Library. While there I noticed some new modular computer desks for use by borrowers. These are arranged in clusters of four around a central point. Each desk has three sides: two straight sides at 90 degrees and a curved front. The desks are not symmetrical, with one straight side about two thirds the length of the other. The desks are in mirror image pairs with sights screens between. The desks are about 1.6 m wide. All cables are run to the center of the cluster of desks and down to the floor. The cables are visible under the desk, but are not very noticeable amongst the four black back legs of the desks. Standard Dell PCs and monitors are used and the 90 degree angle results in there being plenty of depth on the desk to accommodate the equipment.

The curved fronts of the desks look good, but are not particularly functional, as the curve is so sharp that one hand tends to be unsupported when using the keyboard. It would be useful if two or three students were working together, but not in the section of the library for silent study. The library could save some space by making the front of the desk straight or concave, rather than convex.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Fit twice as many students in computer lab with better design

New Design of a Blended Learning SpaceThis is to suggest that smaller computer equipment and careful room design can double the capacity of computer equipped teaching spaces and make them more flexible. The space required can be reduced from 4 m2 per student to 2 m2, comparable to the space allocation for non-computer equipped collaborative learning rooms.

These computer equipped rooms can then be used for blended learning: combining individual computer based work, small group work, group teaching and language laboratories. The learning style need not be fixed by the instructor, with each student selecting their own style. A compact design will allow the instructor and the students to hear and see across the room.

Bodies such as the Australian Government are advocating one computer per student, but are only budgeting for the cost of the computers, not the doubling of floor space which would be needed to accommodate them using current designs.

Computer Labs Have Taken More Space

It has been the practice at universities, vocational training centres and schools to have "computer labs": rooms specially fitted out for computer use . More recently similar layouts have been used in the "learning commons" of educational libraries. Larger desks are provided in labs and commons to accommodate one computer per student. These rooms use twice the floor space of "Cabaret-Style" collaborative learning rooms, which do not allocate a computer to each student.

Seating Densities for Different Learning Styles

Photograph of students at work in the MIT TEAL classroomThe MIT Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) rooms have 2.38 sq m per student. The University of Melbourne guidelines recommend 2 m2 per student for a "Cabaret-Style" Collaborative Learning room. When computer equipped, these rooms have one computer for every three or four students. Computer Lab equipped for teaching have required up to 4 m2 per student.
Seating Density
Type of Spacem2 per student
Lecture Theatres1.0
Seminar Rooms, tight schoolroom set-up1.5
Seminar Rooms, schoolroom with more table space2.0
Collaborative Learning "Cabaret-Style" with room to move and larger tables2.0
Computer Lab - Student Access3.2 - 3.5
Computer Lab - Teaching3.5 - 4.0

Adapted from: "University of Melbourne Teaching Space Design Guidelines", University of Melbourne, 15 December 2004.

Old Design

Old Design of Computer LabConsider a computer lab that is 7.2 x 12 m, with four rows of five desks each 1200 x 900 mm. In this case the rows of desks run down the room. Two rows of desks face each side wall. Two rows of desks with the students sitting face to face, form one large table in the middle of the room, with circulation space around it. A teaching space at the front of the room has a whiteboard/projection screen and a console with audio visual equipment and controls.

A large proportion of each desk top is reserved for a computer monitor, and PC box. Space is provided on the desk for the student to have text books and notepaper while using the computer.

For 20 students, the 86 m2 room provides 4.3 m2 each, slightly over the UoM guidelines. Can the room be made to accommodate more students, but still allow each enough space to operate a computer?

Suggested Layout

New Design of a Blended Learning SpaceSmaller, curved desks with slim computer monitors can be used with offset seating. There is then room for an extra two rows of desks, forming a second island, doubling the seating capacity.

Bulky PC boxes can be removed from the desktops to provide more work space. Less desk space is needed as most instructional material will be provided via the computer and the student will type their notes directly into the computer. However, enough space is provided for an A4 pad while using the computer, or an A4 pad and a textbook when the keyboard is pushed under the monitor.

The table end nearest the whiteboard can have an oval shaped raised area added for the instructor's lectern, with the audiovisual equipment underneath. The other table ends can be similarly rounded and provided for wheelchair and other accessibility access. A second whiteboard can be placed at the other end of the room for breakout group work with provision for a second projection screen. Additional display screens can be placed on the side walls, if needed.

Smaller Computer Desk for Smaller Computers

The size of computer desks in current use were determined when computers had large CRT monitors and processor boxes. The user had to have access frequently to the PC box to insert floppy disks or other rotating media. Also there had to be desk space for paperwork. Computers now use slimmer LCD screens and smaller processor boxes. Removable rotating media is all but obsolete, reducing the need to access the processor box. Less paperwork is needed on the desktop, with instructional material being provided via the computer and student work being typed directly into it.

A computer lab designed for teaching might currently have desks 1,200 x 900 mm, as specified in Australian Standard 3590.2-1990 single task office desks used for for screen based workstations. It is proposed to reduce the single row desks to 900 x 750 mm, with a 150 mm deep curve cut out of the front, in which the student sits. The face to face double row island desks would be 1050 mm deep, with a row of monitors down the middle of the shared area of the desk, giving each student the same space as for the single desks.

Computer Case and Monitor Size Reduction

The original IBM PC case was (HxWxD) 140 x 495 x 408 mm (XT type 5150 of 1984) taking up a large proportion of a desktop. A typical slimline desktop case is now 112 x 398 x 362 (Dell OptiPlex 330 Desktop). These are small enough to be mounted under a desktop. Manufacturers are now introducing desktop computers with the footprint slightly larger than a DVD Drive: 165 x 165 mm (Apple Mac mini). These are small enough to be placed on the desktop next to the monitor.

A typical CRT monitor is 419mm deep (Dell E773c 17-inch CRT Monitor). The depth of a typical LCD monitor is 165 mm (Dell E2209W 22" LCD monitor is 163.9 mm), saving 254 mm of desk depth.

Older PS/2 style computer keyboards are about 450 mm wide (Lenovo 31P7415 is 453 mm). Newer compact keyboards, are slightly narrower at about 430 mm (Dell PH316 is 432mm x 152 mm). Some sub-compact keyboards are as small as 400 mm.

Desk Depth

Provided there is room for the student's legs underneath, the depth of the desk can reduced by about 260 mm when a CRT screen is replaced with an LCD, without reducing the usable desk space. With the LCD stand taking up 165 mm at the back of a 600 mm deep desk, this would leave 435 mm, which is sufficient space for a computer keyboard and A4 paperwork. With the keyboard pushed under the monitor, there would be room for a textbook and A4 paper.

Desk Width

With 200mm to operate a mouse (Fellowes - Mouse pad 200 mm), a compact keyboard would leave room for an A4 notebook (210 mm) and 20 mm between each item on a 900 mm wide desk.

Fitting Desks in the Room

A row of five 1200 mm desks is 6m wide. Reducing to 900 mm desks allows seven desks in a row, with the loss of 300 mm circulation space at the front of the room. This would increase the room capacity from 20 to 28.

If the single row desks are reduced from 900 mm to 600 mm deep, the double row desks made correspondingly narrower, and the space between them from 1300 mm to 1220 mm (the US minimum for wheelchair access), an extra two rows of desks could be added, increasing the room from four to six rows. With 1200 mm width desks, this increases the capacity to 6 rows of 5 students = 30 students. With narrower 900 mm desks, this increases the capacity to 6 rows of 7 students = 42 students.

Heat output

Apart from the space requirements, air conditioning loads need also to be considered from fitting twice as many students into a room. However, the drop in energy use of modern computers will just about compensate for the heat produced by twice as many people.

The Dell E773c CRT consumes 71 Watt, whereas the Dell E178FP 17-inch LCD is only 40 Watt. The Dell OptiPlex 330 Desktop PC has a 280W power supply. The Apple Mac mini has a 110 W power supply. A person puts out about 60 Watt of heat at rest.

So an old system would produce 340 Watt of heat per workstation and the new one and a new one 210 Watt. This is not quite half, but I expect that the figures the air conditioning engineers use are based on higher power levels.

Making the room look larger

Leaving other aspects of the room design unchanged but adding twice as many students could result in a crowded looking space. Changes can be made to increase the effective space and also make it appear larger:

Curved desks occupied at the Learning Commons of the Unviersity of Calgary Library* Curved desk fronts: Having a curved front edge, projecting out 150 mm each side of the student would make the desks larger, without greatly reducing circulation space in the room. This would also better define each student's desk area. The inward curve where the student sat would accommodate an empty chair, providing additional space when the room is not fully occupied and giving it a less cluttered look. This is similar to the arrangement for casual use terminals at the Information Commons, University of Calgary.

Serpentine trading desks at Connecticut School of Business
* Staggered Seating: In typical computer labs, students sit in rows, one behind the other, or facing each other across a shared desk. If the seating is instead staggered, so that students do not face each other, and the backs of their chairs do not back onto another, there is more effective space and the room will look less cramped. The depth of the double row desks could be reduced in this way. This is the arrangement used for the Connecticut School of Business.

Curvilinear  desks unoccupied at the Learning Commons of the Unviersity of Calgary Library* Angled Seating: Typical computer labs have the students facing either the front or side walls. If the students instead face slightly to the front of the room, at about 75 degrees, this will increase the effective depth of the desks. This will also make it easier to see a presentation at the front of the room and their own screen at the same time for blended learning. In may computer classrooms it can be difficult to see the front of the room past all the rows of computer screens. This arrangement is used in the computer classrooms at the Information Commons, University of Calgary.

* Concealed Cabling: Computer cabling and power supply "bricks" commonly clutter the work surface in computer labs. Where cabling is buried in desks or walls, maintenance can be difficult. Instead the cabling can be run in a tray under the rear of the desks, and brought up through a hole in the desktop. This allows the cabling to be hidden, but accessible for maintenance. Standard, low cost power and data cables can be used with excess cable stored in the trays. The University of Queensland Ezones uses this arrangement with wire baskets under the desks to hold the cabling.

* Computers Under Desks or Smaller computers:
The largest item cluttering the desks, but the most difficult to remove, is the PC box. Previously this needed to be accessible to the student for inserting floppy disks or CD/DVD drives. But these are no longer required and the processor box can be placed under the desk, or a smaller unit fitted to the LCD stand. Extension cables can be used to make audio and USB sockets accessible on the desktop. Power sockets can be provided in the desktop, if needed for ancillary equipment, and a power switch to turn off all equipment. PCs can be mounted on the under surface of the desk, between each student, with straps, allowing them to be accessible but out of sight. Straps are used to retain computers on the USS Blue Ridge.

* Instructor Console on end of Student Desks: Teaching spaces typically have a rectangular console at the front for audiovisual equipment, controls and a work surface. This takes up space and looks cluttered. Instead, the front of one of the student desks can be extended for the instructor console. This can have a rectangular box underneath for audio visual equipment, with the top curved to match the other desktops and raised for presentation. It is used for the University of Queensland Ezones.

* Color: Labs are usually a dull mix of muted colours. The usual beige or grey plastic strip placed around the edges of desks can be replaced with one keyed to one of the building colours. This will define the space much more clearly and make it look larger, as well as more interesting.

* Computer Cut Desks: To keep costs down, and raise green credentials, it may be possible to recycle the existing desks and legs, cut to the news size. Small numbers of desks can be cut from low cost manufactured board, laminate or corrugated core sandwich from recycled wood pulp. Larger quantities can be computer cut. Modular systems as featured in "Conference and Communication Environments: Conference. Excellence" are likely to be prohibitively expensive. While movable modular desks may seem a good idea, as Dr Kathy Lynch at the University of the Sunshine Coast pointed out, they may be rarely moved in practice. Where desktop computers are installed it is very unlikely that a system which allows them to be secure and movable is feasable.

* Interactive Screens: An interactive whiteboard could be considered as part of the fit-out, as was pointed out to me at Hawker Primary School. The interactive whiteboard takes no additional space. Side walls can have have supplementary projection or LCD displays (with low power LED back lights), repeating the main image for students who can't easily see the front of the room.

ps: The curve on the desks could be a "hyperbola": an appropriate shape for the "hyperbole" commonly expressed in teaching rooms. ;-)

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Guide to designing training rooms

Conference and Communication Environments: Conference. Excellence by Guido Englich , Burkhard Remmers and Wilkhahn"Conference and Communication Environments: Conference. Excellence" by Guido Englich , Burkhard Remmers and Wilkhahn, is a clumsy title for a masterfully presented book on designing rooms for conferences, meetings, training, seminars and teamwork. The book provides floor plans for room layouts, including details of desks, chairs and storage for equipment. The authors emphasise flexible layouts with movable furniture and partitions for different meeting styles. The also address cabling and installation of computer, audio and video equipment.

The furniture, fittings and floor space specified in the book look expensive for the average educational institution, and more suited to a bank boardroom, but the ideas could be applied. After addressing individual rooms of different sizes, the authors offer designs for some larger multi room spaces, the most interesting of which is a multi-level canteen which can be converted into an assembly hall. Another interesting design is a multifunctional partitioned conference and congress centre, of the type I proposed be built at the ANU in Canberra.

The full text of the book is indexed by and this provides a useful supplement to the book itself, for example to find the 43 pages with references to "computer":
1. on Page 31:
"... darkening the room and media technology may be operated very easily - for example, via a touch panel. If a computer display is already integrated into the table, it may also serve to operate the above functions. Integration of media technology ..."
2. on Page 43:
"... trolley to match sideboard 2 Sideboard for catering materials, incidentals and telephone 3 Table portals with techni-stations for connecting portable computers 4 Server with video visualizer To support decision-making processes, digital media are increasingly being used in classic con- ference environments ..."
3. on Page 47:
"... Wall-installed flat screens 4 Modesty panels for privacy 5 Techni-stations, flush-mounted in table tops, for connecting portable computers 6 Mobile folding table with integrated techni-station and cable management 890 110 ~ Technical progress in the development of ( ..."
4. on Page 48:
"... for connecting portable computers 4 Retractable computer, flush-mounted in the table top, as the meeting convenor's workplace 1740 640 IRea l 1 t_^ _ ..."
5. on Page 49:
"... The dominant seat position of the horseshoe configuration is occupied by the convenor, and is equipped with an electrically retractable computer display. The back plate of the display is veneered to match the table top to create a uni- form table ..."
6. on Page 51:
"... 2 750 1 Wall-mounted flat screen with a camera and loudspeakers 2 Techni-stations, flush-mounted in table tops, for connecting portable computers 3 Retractable computer, ..."
7. on Page 53:
"... topics 5 Modesty panels for privacy 6 Techni-stations, flush-mounted in table tops, for connecting portable computers 7 Retractable computer, flush-mounted in the table top, ..."
8. on Page 55:
"... for connecting portable computers 3 Integrated microphone system 4 Mobile single table as removable segment, providing access to centre of table configuration 220 Conferences ..."
9. on Page 57:
"... 300 sgrri i Server for conference material or for catering materials 2 Techni-stations, flush-mounted in table tops, for connecting portable computers 3 Integrated microphone system 4 Retractable flat screen display integrated into the tops of ..."
10. on Page 62:
"... are generally not necessary either as participants in confer- ences do not sit in one fixed position in contrast to computer work - after all a conference thrives on human interplay with correspondingly frequent changes in posture. When selecting upholstery materials ..."

Planning Guide for Conference and Communication Environments: Conference. Excellence
by Guido Englich (Author), Burkhard Remmers (Author), Wilkhahn (Editor)

List Price: $84.95
Product Description

Englich and Remmers provide a comprehensive, analytical, and programmatic introduction to face-to-face communication in the work world. Against the backdrop of globalization, with its dynamic transformations of office environments and worldwide digital networks, they analyze the strategic significance of the various communication processes for organizational and corporate development. They show how the motives and aims of communication, the organizational forms and procedures appropriate in a given case, the size and arrangement of spaces, the required capabilities of furniture and furnishings, and modern communications and media technology all condition and influence one another. Their integrated and user-oriented approach to analysis and planning enables architects, interior designers, and facility managers to foster communication processes, structure them sensibly, and avoid unnecessary friction and needless follow-up costs, all through proper planning.

About the Author

Guido Englich is a professor of strategic concept and product development at the Hochschule für Kunst und Design Halle (Halle University of Art and Design).

Burkhard Remmers is director of communication and corporate development for the Wilkhahn company in Bad Münder.

Product Details

* Hardcover: 304 pages
* Publisher: Birkhäuser Basel; 1 edition (March 28, 2008)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 3764387580
* ISBN-13: 978-3764387587
* Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches

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Edna Blended Learning Group

Edna, a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory education departments, provide free online groups for educators to discuss issues and share ideas. So I got Edna to create a Blended Learning Group, on the topic of the combination of electronic online techniques with face-to-face education. This includes the design of courses, online systems and of the physical design of computer equipped classrooms for delivery. While primarily aimed at the higher education sector and particularly to rapidly incorporate new research results into teaching, other sectors are welcome. Please contribute to the discussion and suggest resources to list.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Designs for the Learning Commons

Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials by Barbara SchaderIt is time I took "Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials" (Barbara Schader, 2008) back to the library, so I thought I would blog the best bits:

From information commons to learning commons and learning spaces:
This makes the case for the Library to take on a central role in learning, beyond just handing out books. I would have liked to see some of the practical issues covered. Traditional, at the universities I am familiar with, the Library was one place on the campus which was open for extended hours and staffed. Most teaching spaces were either unlocked and unstaffed (such as lecture theatres) or locked and unstaffed (such as computer labs). Just the fact that libraries have staff makes a useful improvement in service.

Curvilinear  desks occupied at the Learning Commons of the Unviersity of Calgary LibraryThe Information Commons at the University of Calgary: Susan Beatty: What were most interesting were the photos of desk and classroom designs. What are described as "curvilinear" desks (I have called serpentine). After some searching I found photos at the University of Calgary web site with similar photos to the book, showing the curved desks both unoccupied and occupied. These seem to be older photos with large CRT screens, whereas the book shows the same desks with more modern flat LCD screens. The occupied desks seem to be for individual study, having low zig-zag partitions down the middle of the desk to give the students some privacy. The students are sitting at 90 degrees to the length of the desk.Curvilinear  desks unoccupied at the Learning Commons of the Unviersity of Calgary Library

In contrast the unoccupied photo seems to show a classroom. The same style desks have the students sitting at 45 degrees and no partition down the middle, so they can see the teacher. The rows of desks seem to be much closer together.

Building for learning:
synergy of space, technology and collaboration: Susan Thompson and Gabriela Sontag:Floor plan, Kellogg Library, California State University San Marcos Interior floor plans are shown for the Kellogg Library of the California State University San Marcos. The plan shows a more rectilinear design and more stacks of books than is now common.

The Saltire Centre and the Learning Commons concept: Saltire Centre Glasgow Caledonian University Jan Howden: The photos of the Saltire Centre, appear to be works of art in their own right, unlike the utilitarian photos of other libraries. In finding these I came across "Planning and Designing Technology-Rioch Learning Spaces" (Northumbria University and JISC, 2008), which comes with a remarkable collection of resources:
  1. Case Studies
  2. Flickr Photo Library
  3. Virtual Campus
  4. Further Resources
I was unable to get some of their plug ins to work, but there is also a
printable version.There are also the Designing Spaces for Effective Learning (March 2006) and Spaces for Learning.

Alden Library Learning Commons at Ohio UniversityTransforming library space for student learning: the Learning Commons at Ohio University's Alden Library: Gary A. Hunt: DesignGroup undertook the work for the Alden Library Learning Commons at Ohio University. This shows some very narrow and uncomfortable looking desks wrapped around poles.

Georgia Institute of Technology, West Commons Improving Student Life, learning and support through collaboration, integration and innovation: Crit Stuart: Georgia Institute of Technology, West Commons is shown. This has large desks with a very slight curve along the front.

The Information Commons at the University of Auckland, Hester Mountifield: Floor plans, and papers about the Kate Edger Information Commons are available. An image gallery is also offered, but in contrast to the Saltire Centre, these photos are so artisitc as to be useless for any practical purpose.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Measure of Man and Woman

The Measure of Man and Woman: Human Factors in Design By Alvin R. Tilley, Henry Dreyfuss AssociatesWandering the shelves of the new University of Sydney SciTech Library, I cam across the 1960 edition of designer Henry Dreyfuss' "The Measure of Man". This is a set of charts showing measurements of men, women and children, with how far they can reach and see when standing and sitting. It also gives recommended sizes for desks, consoles and the like.

The updated, politically correct edition is called "The Measure of Man and Woman: Human Factors in Design" by Alvin R . Tilley of Henry Dreyfuss Associates (Wiley, 2001). The original work was developed from measurements taken of people in the US military and had separate sets of charts for men and women (from a time when men and women would be unlikely to be doing the same jobs). The new work combines men and women on the same charts. The full text and images are available via the Amazon online reader.

With the charts you can see what the recommended size for stand up and sit down computer consoles suitable for 99 percent of the male and female adult population, how high a console can be and still be able to see over it, what width to make the console. There are also measurements for children using equipment. This information is of increasing value for libraries, schools and offices as computer based working and learning become more common.

Some of the original information is a little esoteric for the average office, such as how the angle of vision narrows in low light conditions. This might be of value for designing a display used in low light conditions in a museum. The more general information is of value: for example will students be able to comfortably see the whiteboard at the front of the room while seated at a computer in the flexible learning center?

Some problems with the original measurements have been corrected: conversions to mm as well as inches are now provided. But the recommended sizes for desks have been rounded to a convenient number of inches and then just converted to mm. In practice the measures should be rounded for mm. As an example 15 inches is 381 mm, but it would be better rounded to 380 mm. Also the measurements of people used are mostly based on US military. They therefore will be less representative of the average person in the USA and even less typical of the rest of the world.

Sizing computer desks for people

See also some books and DVDs on Industrial design:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning Commons Turning Libraries into blended learning places

Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials by Barbara SchaderOn my way back from the University of Canberra Learning & Teaching Week, I dropped in at their library, which has an excellent selection of books on teaching. Amongst the new books on display was "Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials" by Barbara Schader (Chandos Publishing Oxford Ltd, March 27, 2008). I have been searching for a year for details on how to redesign university teaching spaces for blended and e-learning. This is the best book I have found so far.

The book is edited papers from a conference, so it approaches the problem from several different perspectives and there is some overlap and contradictions. However, it contains very valuable material, including floor plans of actual facilities built.

Since attending a seminar at ANU on MIT iCampus in July 2007 I have been looking at how university classrooms could be redesigned to incorporate computer systems for learning, including classroom room and furniture design. One frustration has not knowing exactly what to call this. Initially I referred to flexible learning centers then blended learning in those centres. While I could find much on the design of courses and e-learning I could find little on the design of classrooms specifically for this. What I did discover from looking at actual learning institutions was that the librarians seemed to be the ones who had the best idea of what to do.

The book is from the point of view of university and other teaching institution librarians, who have already evolved their libraries into "information commons", which provide information not only in book form, but electronically. It suggests taking another step in this evolution and bringing the formal and informal learning into the library with the "Learning Commons". This is something I have seen first hand at libraries across Australia (UQ, UNSW, RMIT, USyd, Concord) and as far a field as Malaysia in the last year (also at Hawker Primary School in Canberra). Also I have looked at classroom design, design documents from Flinder's University, and UK designs. But this is the first time I have seen it set down as a coherent strategy.

The book provides examples of learning commons at universities, mostly in the USA, with the different room layouts designing for different learning activities and how these relate to each other. Typically a library will have facilities ranging from traditional silent individual study, group work areas, discussion tutorial areas, mini-lecture rooms, and cafe style.

After speinding many hours searching for floor plans for "flexible learning" I find that all I had to do was instead look for "floor plans learning commons". I thought perhaps this was a new term, but only 39 of the 746 web pages found with a search are less than a year old. An image search found about 50 floor plans and photos of a delighted eclectic collection of curved desks.

The book covers much more than just how to lay out curved desks, including an overview of software, facilities planning and promotion of a learning commons. It is likely that different readers will find different sections of interest (I found the sections on promotion and planning of least value).

Now that I know I am not the only person obsessed with fitting curved desks with computers on them into a space, I can look at how such spaces might be used. One approach of particular interest is flexible, but fixed, designs. Several of the designs in the book are intended for desks to be rearranged for different learning styles. However, this is difficult to do, particularly where the desks have computers on them. It also assumes that one learning style will be used for one lesson. In computer assisted courses I have run, the learning style changes every twenty minutes or so, and it would not be feasible to move the furniture or change rooms this often.

The hidden agenda for university in consideration of facilities such as learning commons is to reduce costs by eliminating lectures, lecturers and lecture theatres. Advocates of the US "cabaret" style teaching, including the MIT TEAL, suggest that mass lectures can be replaced with a sort of mass tutorial/workshop. A room holding one hundred or more students has a main presenter in the middle (somewhat like a cabaret singer in a nightclub) and several roving tutors (like waiters at the cabaret). This approach also argues that mass machine marked multiple choice tests can be used, supplemented sometimes with students marking each others work. None of this sits comfortably with a research lead institution, like the ANU.

What perhaps will sit comfortably with institutions is a blended approach. This could eliminate large dull lectures, without creating the large cabaret tutorial. One approach would be to have small lectures for about 25 students. These lectures would be recorded and made available to the students, along with the same computer based materials used in the room. Students could choose to attend the live lecture, or view it online. They would be given the same interactive exercise to do regardless of if they came into the room or did it remotely.

Based on my experience of the effect of audio podcasts on lecture attendance, I expect only about 25% of the students would choose to attend any particular lecture in person. So the rooms used would need to hold only 25 students, for a class of 100. Rather than use cabaret as the metaphor, this format would use a "live" TV variety or game show with the students as the participating studio audience. This would provide for a more lively performance, than where a teacher pre-records a lecture sitting alone in a small booth, on in a darkened lecture theatre in front of hundreds of invisible students.

If only 25% of the students attend an average lecture, such a system would deliver similar savings in staffing and space to other computer enhanced teaching formats. Existing tutorials rooms could be equipped for this format, without having to move walls. Standard office buildings could be converted to and from teaching spaces, unlike lecture theatres which require specially engineered buildings. The cost of equipping each room with an interactive white board and a computer for each student are dropping, whereas the cost of buildings and land tend not to.
Summary: This book examines successfully planned and implemented Library Learning Commons at several different academic institutions around the world. These case studies provide a methodology for effective planning, implementation and assessment. Practical information is provided on how to collaborate with campus stakeholders, estimate, budgeting and staffing and determine the equipment, hardware and software needs.

Also provided are memoranda of understanding (MOUs), planning checklists and assessment tools. This book reflects a unifying focus on both the evolution of learning commons to learning spaces and the collaborative aspect of co-creating learning spaces. Key Features: Unique case studies representing very different types of Information Commons, Learning Commons, Faculty Commons and other Learning Spaces International breadth and depth is assured through inclusion of case studies from Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and European institutions in addition to six in the United States

Practical checklists of planning and implantation considerations, as well as memorandum of understanding(MOU)templates, form the appendices Readership: Librarians, administrators, faculty and other educators in both public and private academic institutions will find this book helpful in developing learning spaces in their institutions. They will learn how to adopt and adapt these spaces for their institutions. Graduate library science faculty will also use this book as a text. ...

From's summary of "Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials" by Barbara Schader (Chandos Publishing Oxford Ltd, March 27, 2008).


  1. Introduction - Barbara Schader
  2. From information commons to learning commons and learning spaces: an evolutionary context. Mary M. Somerville, Assistant Dean, California Polytechnic State University. Describes the evolution of information commons to learning commons to learning spaces with references to key literature and implementations/installations. A subchapter covers Library 2.0.
  3. Beyond facebook: thinking of the learning Commons as a social network. It presents characteristics of the current generation of students and implications for collaborative learning spaces. Jill McKinstry, Director, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  4. Supporting the learning commons concept in the real world. Jenn Stringer, Associate Director for Educational Technology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA
  5. Transforming service delivery: Teaching and learning within the information commons. Shahla Bahavar, Information Services Coordinator, Leavey Library University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  6. Engineering student success through critical partnerships. Crit Stuart, Associate Director for Public Services, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, USA7. Susan Beattie, Head, Information Commons, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  7. Improving student life, learning and support through collaboration, integration and innovation. Hester Mountifield, Assistant University Librarian, Information Commons & Learning Services, The University of Auckland Library, Auckland, New Zealand
  8. Evaluation and assessment
  9. Conclusions and predictions


  • planning collaborative spaces in libraries
  • planning checklist (checklist with sections on preliminary planning, project kick-off, project definitions, space planning, personnel, budgets, collaborations, service considerations, marketing, pre-launch analysis, launch, post-launch analysis)
  • templates for Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) to be used when entering into collaborations with other institutional entities
  • floor plans, diagrams and pictures of current successful learning spaces.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Sustainable Design":

Sustainable Design: Schools and Kindergartens: A Design Manual book coverJon from The Building Bookshop, has pointed out the book "Sustainable Design: Schools and Kindergartens: A Design Manual" by Mark Dudek (Birkhäuser Basel, 2007). This has quite a bit to say on designing for computers in education:

1. on Page 22:
"... will continue to do so at an ever-increasing rate. Today's 5- to 7 year olds are the fastest-growing segment of computer users. If you look only a few years ahead, their teenage siblings typically have five to six applications running at ..."
2. on Page 23:
"... Physical learning environments need to be adapted to further enable and encourage this shift. Dedicated spaces within classrooms and dedicated computer labs are being replaced with the oppor- tunities to ..."
3. on Page 118:
"... accommodated in the daytime teach- ing area will be three further teaching courtyards for the junior and senior schools, the computer and science laboratories, a library and community resource facility, art studios, an open-air assembly courtyard and a large multi-purpose hall. ..."
4. on Page 120:
"... 2 Offices 7 Science classroom 3 Kindergarten 8 Gymnasium 4 Multipurpose space 9 Library 5 Cafeteria 10 Computer laboratory ~:~~--•~°' _~ -~, ~l ,....~ „~:. ..."
5. on Page 144:
"... required a significant expansion of its accommodation including a new school kitchen and refectory/dining hall, a music room, a computer suite, a gymnasium and six classrooms. ..."
6. on Page 146:
"... >r . T ,,-'- - - Tr .. Ground floor plan (semi-basement) 1 Classrooms 2 Locker room 3 Gymnasium 4 Computer room 1 Coloured concrete panels I View of the refectory I Views of typical classroom I Subdued colours and wooden ..."
7. on Page 147:
"... of five identical classrooms, which open directly onto the wooded landscape beyond The computer room is located ..."
8. on Page 161:
"... , - 7 2 Computer classroom 7 Multipurpose space 11 Science cln,u„,n 3 Art classroom 8 Gallery 12 Kindergarten 4 Administration 9 Classroom (Head Start, ..."
9. on Page 177:
"... L ii 11 ~ First floor plan - . - 8 Middle school classrooms 9 Open court 10 Mediatheque 11 Computer room 12 Communal work and social areas ¡.. ,.,.~_... ....._-....__.. M X I = I ff Sections ? ..."
10. on Page 180:
"... opposite direction towards the open countryside beyond. On the second lower floor there are science laboratories and the sixth form computer room with spaces for vocational training, ..."
11. on Page 239:
"... computer and power access for study and smaller social groups outside the classrooms; the school's main canteen and dining area spreads ..."
12. on Page 245:
"... differentiated ceiling planes which create the sense of drama within the new building. Flexible technology is not just about computer aided learning, an individual working on his or her own, contained by four walls and the screen anyplace. ..."

1-5 of 5 pages with references to internet:

1. on Page 18:
"... school. It is planned that the new complex will include a business/workshop vil- lage, leased office and shop space, an Internet café, a fitness and leisure centre. ..."
2. on Page 48:
"... fitted kitchen for each group; many kindergartens do have this); room for special activities such as language training and development, internet and PC; an administrative office (if possible with a view of the entrance, playgrounds and interior); 1 staffroom for relaxation, ..."
3. on Page 105:
"... a greenhouse for educational and therapeutic plant- ing and an Internet café. The external site amenities include learning gardens, formal and informal playing fields, an outdoor stage, covered arcades, parking and ..."
4. on Page 193:
"... A suite of new classrooms in the middle school is furnished with specially designed timber fittings and integrated wireless Internet access There is seating for up to 20 students in each. Special consideration has been given to classroom acoustics in ..."
5. from Copyright:
"... The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie, detailed bibliographic data is available in the Internet at http //dnb. ..."


1. on Page 235:
"... bases of 60 square metres for each year group. Each classroom has flat screen Apple Macs with teachers standing at interactive white boards. ..."

From the book description:
In a global economy, the importance of education is now widely recognized. Furthermore, in the wake of international assessment studies, schools and kindergartens have become a focus of great public interest. As a new generation of educational environments are designed and built, this Design Manual illustrates the most up-to-date educational strategies and how they are realized in built form.

With 80 case studies from Europe, North America and the Pacific Region, this is an essential guide for architects involved in the design of schools and kindergartens. This specialized field encompassing ever-changing educational theories is explained in the context of varying national and regional approaches. Among the key themes analyzed are aspects such as the impact of modern communication technology, urban integration or internal circulation. The book will also be of interest to educationalists, parents and the wider community.

About the Author

The author is a practicing architect and a Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield. He is a consultant to organizations involved in the design of schools and kindergartens, including the UK Government s "Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment".

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