What a joy to see the fruits of labor highlighted in such a grand yet humble way Saturday, March 22nd, when America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama visited the Stanford Center at Peking University in Beijing.
For over the past months, I had the blessing of working with Stanford University Graduate School of Business in designing the perfect learning environment.
When looking for an innovative learning environment, Stanford sought to create a space that was as true to life in which students, though thousands of miles away would feel as if they are in the same room. The result was identical classrooms in Stanford, California and Beijing using high-definition video technology displayed on a curved wall of video screens. The fully immersive all-encompassing suite enables the professor or students to stand and walk and still be seen. All participants are captured at full height.
I worked with one of the faculty members at the school of business who likes to teach in a horseshoe style setup. He wanted to have a lectern placed at the end of the first row where he could stand to teach. This design puts him at the base of the horseshoe with his students in one country facing students in the other to create a highly collaborative and engaging experience. An interactive whiteboard is behind him and students have pop-up content monitors immediately in front of them. They didn’t want ordinary monitors, however, but instead chose to place touch screen monitors that act as interactive whiteboard as well for greater collaboration. Seamless conversation and real-time data sharing with students on different continents…it doesn’t get any better!
The rooms are used to conduct seminars between scholars at Stanford and PKU, and to expand the reach of the business school faculty.
Shown above: a student in Stanford, California speaks to the First Lady, in Beijing, across the table.
"Through the wonders of modern technology, our world is more connected than ever before," Obama said.
It seems designing collaborative learning spaces is a major part of the discussions I have reularly with educational institutions and corporate training organizations worldwide. Some want desgin shown above or another Immersive Studio you can read about here or view on YouTube. Others are more interested in a collaborative learning space like the one Deloitte designed at their Deloitte University campus see below. We will talk about these spaces in the next blog posting.
Until then, let me know if you want to better understand what I have shared.