Reed Magazine February
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2003

The grant and its outcomes inspired faculty members in the arts, humanities, history, and other disciplines not traditionally associated with computers to explore their potential. Again, colleges around the country were watching. Since that time Reed has hosted national and regional conferences to share its ideas and experiences.

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The latest example of Reed’s technology leadership is a shiny new physical addition to the campus: the educational technology center (ETC). Yes, it houses “a ton of technology,” as Ringle describes it: thousands of feet of cabling are tucked into walls and ceilings. But the equipment isn’t what you notice when you walk inside. You notice maple wainscoting, six-foot-square windows framing verdant views, and a working fireplace. Along with the expected computer labs, the ETC contains a fully equipped wireless lounge that feels more like a home living room than a college computer center.

It’s there to make students feel at home while they work—and clearly, it’s succeeding. “The very first day the building opened,” Ringle says, “I walked in and saw a student sitting in an easy chair, feet propped up on a coffee table, headphones on, laptop in lap. He was looking up material on the web while listening to music.” A couple of weeks later, Ringle witnessed the study date, 21st-century style: a pair of students on the sofa beside the fireplace, arms linked and heads touching as they tapped away on his-and-hers laptops.

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The ETC is also home to fully equipped computer labs, classrooms, and a multimedia lab where faculty members conduct classes and workshops for each other. When the chief information officer from Washington and Lee University visited the new ETC, he told Ringle, “This makes so much sense I’m scratching my head wondering why no one else has done it.” The reason it makes sense is that the facility is designed to fit people’s lives. As Ringle puts it, “Technology shouldn’t be an obstacle or a distraction. It should fit the mind the way a good tool fits the hand.”

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Reed Magazine February
Go to Page 1 go to page two Page 3, you are here go to page 4 go to page 5 go to page 6 go to page 7 Link to Reed Mag  Home
2003