New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 20

ENGAGING ON ALL LEVELS Education in the 21st century is all about maximising opportunities for learning, with an interactive technology platform enhancing flexible, collaborative teaching spaces Right from the outset, it was clear the new MIT Manukau campus would set a new benchmark for tertiary education. Designed to celebrate learning and diversity, the campus provides a flexible, collaborative and multipurpose learning environment where students, tutors and lecturers are fully engaged at all times. Automation Associations, a company that specialises in automation and control systems, was a key part of the solution. Commercial director Frank Bantjes says interactive technology plays an important role in the classroom, but it is always a tool, not a focal point. “Technology helps in providing a platform that allows a seamless transition between delivering and receiving the teaching message,” Bantjes says. “Our mandate required the equipment to be almost invisible, so there is 100% engagement with the tutor and the actual learning process. We like to say to our clients, ‘It’s not about our technology, it’s about your space.’ It’s the space and what happens within it that is important.” Bantjes says the more open, sharing environment reflects a major change in teaching methodology. 18 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT trendsideas.com “We are seeing a much more holistic approach to education – it is no longer the didactic model that existed for centuries. The technology platform we provide supports this new initiative. It encourages collaboration and the sharing of information, not just between students and teachers but between peers as well. “It is not just the students who take something away from a lesson. The tutors and lecturers also gain valuable insights and knowledge from such a reciprocal approach.” Bantjes says the seamless transition is enhanced by consistency – having the same tactile, userfriendly technology throughout the campus makes it easy for students and tutors alike to touch, feel and engage. For more details, contact Automation Associates Commercial, 7 College Hill, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, phone (09) 377 3778, fax (09) 377 3788. Website: www.aa.net.nz save | share Search 45061 at trendsideas.com Above Automation Associates supplied an interactive technology platform to the new MIT Manukau campus. This included equipping the auditorium with a mixing desk and interactive presentation facilities. The theatre rack supports the presentation systems. Top right and right:Ultra shortthrow projectors are integrated with PC screens and overhead projectors at the front of the teaching spaces. Screens can be used as whiteboards, and information from these can be stored and distributed digitally. Far right:Because the projectors in the teaching spaces are so close to the projected images, shadow-casting is not an issue.