Learning at colleges and universities is being redefined by technology and is no longer confined to the classroom. The University of Central Florida recognizes the changes in student needs and developed the Technology Commons to provide students, faculty and staff with a resource center that fulfills their technological needs.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday marked the official opening of the center, which is now open for use.
As the outdated Computer Center I and II became unsuitable for students to effectively study and work, the old space between the Student Union and Library was transformed into an innovative hub that reaffirms UCF’s dedication to bringing students the newest learning technology.
Besides new computers and furnishings, Technology Commons emphasizes social interaction and the importance of modern collaborative learning. As students’ learning styles evolve, many prefer to study in groups and exchange ideas. While there are still many individual study spaces available in the updated center, the new modular furniture is designed to be fluid and adapt to changing needs of the students and technology.
“Clearly, this is not the study space of your father – or mother. But UCF anticipates that the Technology Commons we celebrate today likely will be different in years to come,” President John C. Hitt said at the Technology Commons ribbon cutting. “That’s why this space is designed to adapt to emerging technologies and the changing needs of students.”
The Technology Commons is divided into 10 different areas to provide students with an all-inclusive area that caters to all types of student needs. The expanded space houses 214 seats and more than 100 computers:
The CORE: A large open space in Computer Center II that is ideal for groups to meet before heading to different parts of the commons or for study breaks. Located within The CORE are recharge lockers, secure charging stations for laptops and other electronics, and a CPU service bar where students can have computer-related questions answered. The CORE acronym stems from the facility’s attributes when it was in the planning stages: Collaborative Original Reflective Experimental.
Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Lab: This wireless lounge features many different types of seating for students who bring their own laptops or check out netbooks.
Technology Product Center: Students can view, test and purchase products from major brands affiliated with the UCF Computer Store. High-tech vending machines are available where students can purchase office supplies or small technology items.
Café: Snacks, refreshments and Seattle’s Best Coffee will be available in the Café next to the BYOT Lab. The coffee shop will open Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Collaboration Computer Lab: Several study tables and rooms will be available for students who are focusing on group work. The rooms feature glass walls that block outside noise and a flat-screen display that gives students a shared screen to rehearse presentations and hold discussions.
Video Recording and Editing Suite: Available for students looking to produce podcasts or video presentations.
Technology Service Center: Provides computer repairs and services to UCF students, faculty and staff.
Technology Patio: Outside study and work area with shaded tables and full wireless coverage between Computer Center I and II.
Computer Lab: The lab features new Apple and Dell computers and additional workstations to guarantee students access to a computer at virtually any time. Students may use the computer lab for quick printing jobs or work that requires a longer stay.
Training and Project Rooms: These rooms are available to faculty and staff and are furnished with modular furniture that can be set up a variety of ways to accommodate meetings of different sizes.