- Indiana University has established a working group to develop a prototype for smart classrooms that will give professors easier control over increasingly sophisticated classroom technology, minimize the supports needed for the space and encourage collaboration among students, according to Campus Technology.
- The university said it wants to use smart technology to help save faculty and students time. Room enhancements will include technology that allows professors to teach while moving around and take attendance electronically as well as displays for small-group collaboration.
- Indiana University gathered information from faculty members about their needs and then convened a one-day summit with representatives of five companies whose products could support the classroom changes. The institution issued a report from the summit, whose participants came up with key features and recommendations for the new smart classrooms.
Smart classrooms are taking shape in a variety of ways on college campuses nationwide. A recent story in EdTech magazine featured Imperial Valley College, in California, where a growing number of active learning classrooms (ALC) have complete audio-visual integration. Students sit in small groups around tables with laptops, document cameras and shared displays, and professors can easily switch between the computers and cameras. In addition, the University of Oklahoma, which opened its first ALC in 2012, by this past spring had 14 smart classrooms spread among various departments.
Furthermore, the University of Washington Tacoma, University of Colorado Colorado Springs and University of Nebraska Kearney encourage faculty members to use their smart classrooms and provide instructors with support.
One analysis of the global market for smart classroom technology sees its value nearly doubling to $91.3 billion by 2025. Educause ranks learning space design as one of the key higher ed issues in teaching and learning, noting that about 200 universities have smart classrooms. But it also provides case studies with warnings — particularly about the need to train faculty members and involve them in decisions about classroom technology.
On a larger scale, several universities have built eye-catching new buildings packed with smart technology, which The New York Times has called "deluxe structures for the generation of wonderful ideas." It reviewed several, including the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech in New York City, Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah and Northwestern University's The Garage.