Starting the Semester Strong

We are finishing our second week of school. The rooms have been packed full of students and instructors. This year we are condensing our General Purpose Classroom survey and sending it out once per semester. That will be sent out in the next couple of months. We really do enjoy hearing feedback from our students and faculty. Once piece of information I would like to share with you all is that our phone number is changing. The new number is 806.742.5365!  Please write it down or save it in your phone. We are always happy to help but you guys will need to know how to contact us. Also, Classroom Technology Support’s number has changed. They can answer any of your questions about technology in the General Purpose Classrooms and can set up time for training. CTS’s new number is 806.742.5381! Please write it down or save it to your phone. We can’t wait to hear feedback from our surveys. We definitely would like to know how people are enjoying the new seminar rooms!

Back to School

Summer is winding down but campus is just starting to heat up. The Residents Halls opened this last weekend for all of the new students. We’ve seen students and parents walking around getting acquainted with campus. Classes start on Monday, August 25th. That means this week was dedicated to getting our General Purpose Classrooms ready for the new semester. This entails lock programming, technology training, cleaning and auditing.

 

Lock programming is a long process. We work with the the ID Office to grant access to instructors teaching in the General Purpose Classrooms. The locks read a chip that is housed in a proximity ID card. The chip holds a series of numbers. We program the locks so they unlock when they read the number that is assigned to an instructors. This means our instructors will need a proximity card to gain access to the majority of our General Purpose Classrooms. These ID’s can be obtained from the ID Office in the Student Union Building. If you know an instructor teaching in a General Purpose Classrooms, encourage them to get a proximity ID from the ID Office. We are happy to answer any questions about access or the lock programming process. Feel free to call us at 806.834.5271 or email me at emily.jones@ttu.edu

 

Once this was completed, we focused our sights on helping instructors to get acquainted with the technology in the room. We held a few technology trainings this week so instructors could ask question and see the equipment in the room. We like to hear that our technology and equipment is being utilized. It is becoming an integral piece of how instructors teach their class so we want to be sure we are supporting them fully. If you need any information or instruction about our technology feel free to look at some of the instruction PDF’s. They can be found on our website at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/asfr/gpc/ (They can be found under the FAQ’s Technology tab. Just click on How do I use Technology in GPC’s?). The Classroom Technology Support (CTS) division of IT Help Central is who we rely on to support the technology in the General Purpose Classrooms. If an instructor has any issues with the technology CTS can be reached at 806.834.5252.

 

Lastly, we walked through all of our classrooms to audit. We checked to make sure they were clean. We reorganized the student seating if necessary and left any needed supplies for instructors. Our hope is that student feel comfortable and attentive in our General Purpose Classrooms. Also that our instructors feel that they are supported and can teach their course with minimal issues. We are excited to hear feedback from instructors and students who are attending a course in our General Purpose Classrooms. Below are pictures of various styles of General Purpose Classrooms. Let us know if we accomplished creating comfortable yet functional classrooms.

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Furniture, Cabinetry and Technology! Oh my!

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This week was very busy with finishing for our Platinum General Purpose Classrooms. At the beginning of the week we had technology being programmed similar to our other classrooms. We want our rooms to be easily used and accessible. We utilize a touch panel for easy control over the technology. The touch panel allows you to change the volume of the speakers, switch between PC use and laptop connections, and control of the televisions.  Then doors and drawers of our cabinetry were installed. Lastly furniture arrived. This room is meant to be used as a movable and flexible classroom. We chose to incorporate nesting tables and chairs on casters for flexibility. The furniture is considered nesting because they fit closely together. Our table tops are attached to the legs through a pivot system. We can flip the table tops up and they fit neatly in a corner. The chairs are similar. The chair seats flip up making them fit closely together.  The table have power ports installed into the top. Since technology is so important to modern day teaching and learning, we expect them to be well utilized by students. Flexibility has also grown in popularity for teaching in the recent years. Professors want to teach their class as a lecture and then incorporate application or discussion through small break out groups. These classrooms can be used for seminars, lectures, group work, and the list could go on. Above are a few floor plans to demonstrate the flexibility of the room. Please enjoy the pictures and tell us your thoughts!

 

Start of Something New!

As the summer is winding down, the finishing of our construction is heating up. So many finishing touches have been added this week. The shell of our new lectern and cabinet were installed. All of our advanced technology has been installed. Whiteboards were installed and furniture was scheduled for delivery. These rooms have been given a much needed face lift this summer. Academic Support and Facilities Resources is very excited to see the final product. We hope they will be well utilized. Let us know your thoughts on the progress.

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Are you interested in seeing them beautifully finished?

Feel the Power

Another week has passed for our new General Purpose Classroom renovation. Through the General Purpose Classroom project, we have gotten request of seminar style rooms with premium technology. Technology is becoming an essential component of teaching style and student learning. With students continually using more technology, we have chosen to offer new Legrand floor outlets to support the premium technology that will be included in these rooms. The floor outlets are a part of Legrand’s new Evolution Series. It combines a new model design which offers more options such as electric outlet, Ethernet cable conections and USB connections. This means the instructor can hardwire their own computer into the technology system without having to separate themselves from the students. Also the students can get power to their personal technology while at their workstations and connected to the class. The outlets have a flush metal cover with Legrand’s “e-coating” in many color and design options. All of these options make the outlet more durable. We believe these many options will improve the utilization of the class. Next week we are hoping to see our second coat of paint for the walls and technology cabinets!

 

Modular vs. Broadloom Carpet

This week we got to decide on the pattern of our new modular carpet. Modular carpet is most commonly called carpet squares or carpet tiles. They come in just as many different designs as regular broadloom carpets. The following reasons are why modular carpet is more suitable for our space.

  • Easier handling and installation
  • Additional designs because of installation patterns
  • Better maintenance
  • Water resistant padding
  • Environmentally friendly

Modular carpet is typically offered in two sizes, 18″ X 18″ or 24″ X 24″. This means they can stack and ship modular carpet in boxes. One installation man can unload and move these boxes. Broadloom carpets are often shipped on rolls that are 12′ – 15′ long and 3′ – 5′ wide. This requires at least 2 installation men to unload and move. At the top of this blog is a picture of our two installation patterns. Modular carpet squares typically have many different installation patterns (above is an example of installation patterns for a carpet). Maintenance is also much easier for modular carpets. If there is a spilled drink in the classroom, the carpet that is effected can be pulled up and replaced. The replacement of a few squares of carpet is much cheaper than pulling up an entire room of carpet. Also the backing on modular carpet is made of vinyl. This protects the sub floor from water. In the long run there will be less deterioration or mold underneath our carpets. And lastly, modular carpet is typically made of recycled material and tiles in good condition can be relocated and reused making it more environmentally friendly than broadloom carpet.

Without any further ado, our room is coming together beautifully. The carpet was installed and now the room is looking more complete. I can’t wait until we get our technology and furniture in the rooms. Please enjoy the pictures!

 

Introducing Emily Jones & Construction Update

I am pleased to introduce the newest member of our GPC crew, Emily Jones! Emily was previously employed as our student assistant and returns as a replacement for Kristina Lusk. Kristina’s tenure with ASFR will end August 29th, as she leaves to finish her Master’s degree. Emily is graduating in May 2015 from TTU with her Bachelor of Interior Design. Please help us welcome Emily!

Hello, I am Emily Jones. I am very excited to start working at ASFR. I loved my time as a student assistant. Now, I am so excited to be starting ASFR full time. Yesterday, Kristina and I checked on construction. Our  new ceiling grid has been installed and all the zoned lighting is working. The new ceiling is dropped from the original height; however, because of the white tile the ceiling still seems high. The two toned colors on the wall also make the room feel spacious. Three holes were cored in the floor for power, one for the technology cabinet and the other two for students use. This option was chosen due to the furniture selection. This room is intended to be mobile with tables and chairs that can be configured for the specific pedagogy of the classes. Having the wires concealed underneath the floor reduces hassle and hazard of cable management on the floor. As a student assistant I visited the room before construction had started. I was so excited to see the progress from the past few months.

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