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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Campus Store Could Provide Tech Playground

Matt Reed recently wrote in his Confessions of a Community College Dean blog for Inside Higher Education that it would be a great idea if college campuses had a “dedicated lab/room with plenty of up-to-date technology where faculty could go to learn” how to use the latest gadget for their courses.

“The idea was that the best way to learn a technology is to play with it—I strongly believe that, just as I believe that the best way to learn a concept is to teach it—but that playing with it requires the presence of both the tech itself and a safe space,” he wrote.

Reed went on to list funding as a major obstacle to such a lab, adding that he doesn’t have a solution for the idea. He even solicited his readers for their thoughts. Hopefully, the college store on his campus read Reed’s post and replied.

That’s not to suggest that a campus store has unlimited space or funding, but many already stock the technology products or have the contacts to the experts who could come to campus for periodic “faculty night” events to demonstrate devices. For example, the KSU Bookstore, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, recently took part in an e-book fair, bringing together major publishers and the school library for an event that featured hands-on demonstrations of e-books, electronic devices, and associated technologies.

So, Mr. Reed, that partner for your dedicated tech lab might be closer than you think.

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