In the education industry, how teachers and students engage with computers is changing. In classrooms, labs and lecture halls, education institutions are looking to promote active learning through engagement with technology. These are collaborative spaces that have to accommodate for personal devices, laptops, workstations, and even mounted wall monitors and speakers.
On the administrative and supplier side of education, cues can be taken from commercial industries who are designing open floor plans and employing "hot desking", whereby employees aren't given fixed desk spaces. Some companies are also trading traditional conference rooms for "huddle rooms"—small, flexible spaces for team and client collaboration.
Space-saving & Collaboration Ideas to Consider
To replace aging PCs, look to devices and accessories that not only optimize space, but promote collaborative teaching and learning:
These devices integrate the computer inside the screen, saving desk space and reducing the need for cables to connect a separate computer and display.
Today's desktop computers are available in a range of sizes. Lenovo's ThinkCentre Tiny range has a footprint smaller than a laptop for mounting under a desk or placing behind a monitor. These solutions are ideal for computer labs, libraries and other places where you want to place computing equipment more discreetly. Smaller doesn't mean you'll compromise performance and there are options for storage expansion, monitors and powerful graphics capabilities as users require.
Docking offers the benefits of a desktop without sacrificing the portability of a laptop. A range of connectivity ports enable users to quickly connect peripherals and displays to their laptop, minimizing cable clutter and desk space. For education administrators and suppliers with hot-desking policies, several users may share the same desk and peripherals at different times by simply docking their laptop. In seconds users can be connected to displays, peripherals and networking.
Individual Web Conferencing
If users are conducting VOIP calls and web conferencing in an open plan office, education resource centre or for remote learning, are may be disturbing others because they struggle to make themselves heard through their PC. Simply having a good quality headset, a PC with noise suppression and digital mics can make a big difference.
Meeting & Seminar Rooms
Frequently, users experience frustration getting meetings started – equipment doesn’t work, or they can’t find the right adapter to connect to the projector or screen. A smart meeting room solution will solve that, enabling users to connect to displays wirelessly, reserve rooms automatically through Outlook, and collaborate with remote participants seamlessly for more engaging learning experiences.
Eliminating the complexity of meeting room equipment, devices like the ThinkSmart Hub 500 replace conference room phones, dongles and adapters, and simplifying cabling.
As you look to modernize, consider the following:
- Job roles: are they "fixed" at a desk or often mobile and/or hot-desking?
- What are the performance needs students, faculty and administrators require from hardware?
- Do they need to collaborate with others in the same building or remotely?
- How much time is spent in classrooms or meeting rooms? Are they able to efficiently connect to meeting room services?