IT Resources are Stretched Thin as General Purpose Classrooms Convert!


A growing trend on most campuses is the conversion of traditional general purpose classrooms into Active Learning and Collaborative teaching spaces. As San Diego State learned, these exciting new teaching methods demand more technology.

The basics for a general purpose classroom might be a projection capable space with a desktop PC provided for faculty instruction. In addition, these spaces often include seating for 25-40 students, normally sitting at old-school tablet arm chairs.

As traditional teaching methods are being replaced by Collaborative, Active Learning and SCALE-UP models, the need to distribute technology to the desktop becomes critical. Does anyone remember what the SCALE-UP acronym means? Are you ready? It’s a mouthful: Student Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogy. Whoa! In short, it’s about students working in small groups (technically, groups of 3). In theory, the students are teaching each other, and the instructor roams the classroom as a facilitator, hence the upside-down pedagogy.

Learning Research Studio - AH 1112 at San Diego State University

Learning Research Studio - AH 1112 at San Diego State University

As you can see in the San Diego State photos, the small groups of students often collaborate using their laptops (BYOD). To make this process more functional, these laptops should be plugged into a switch and shared on a large display. Each cluster has its own wall mounted display. San Diego State used Extron for this switching function. There are also many affordable solutions for wireless screen sharing. The Mersive Solstice, Crestron Air Media, and Kramer VIA have all gotten good reviews.

As you can see from these photos, your technology budget will definitely feel the strain when compared to a general purpose classroom. Although the technology can be a budget buster, the furniture does not need to be. Most large furniture manufacturers charge top dollar for technology furniture. Put the word technology in front of it, and the price skyrockets! This is not true when you choose Computer Comforts’ furniture solutions.

Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business

Computer Comforts designs and manufactures affordable furniture solutions for a wide variety of tech environments. For example, a typical 9-student cluster (84” diameter) with tabletop power and electronics bay averages $2800. A typical “bullet-shaped” collaborative table with tabletop power and electronics bay runs about $1350. Please take a few minutes to browse our website. Check out our Install Gallery to view many other college installations.

Please shoot us an email to get a quick quote on any of these innovative products.

Computer Comforts, Inc. aka CCI