A new age of computer labs: IgnitED Lab



As the title of this post suggests, the Technology Initiatives team in the Office of Scholarship and Innovation is behind the development of a new era of computer/technology lab for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. In an effort to rethink the role and affordances of a computer lab the aim is to develop an open, hands-on, learner-centered digital learning studio (that exists both in the physical and online world) for students, faculty and staff. This new space is reimagined as an IgnitED Lab where the emphasis is to create an exciting and creative space where users can explore and play with new and emerging technologies that can play a role in learning and education.

Need for the IgnitED Lab

The technology landscape is fast-paced and ever-changing, with new tools and technologies emerging at a seemingly accelerated pace. For many educators, it is intimidating, challenging or overwhelming to try and stay current on the latest digital and media technologies and what they mean for learning. The IgnitED Lab is aimed to provide a space that extends beyond a traditional technology lab. Rather, this collaborative exploratory space would allow users to play and create with emerging technologies that will be part of the classroom of tomorrow such as: virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality, robotics, telepresence, internet of things (IoT) devices, coding, 3-D printing, as well as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced electronic and mechanical engineering equipment where applicable. By providing an engaging and supportive learning environment, the IgnitED Lab will help foster the spirit of intrapreneurship and innovation within the college and the ASU community. Whether users want to develop technical expertise, or just want to try out a new technology they have heard in the news, the IgnitED Lab will be the place to visit, explore, create and play with the latest emerging technology and to develop educational solutions for the same. DLP Campus Locations Core to the mission of the IgnitED Lab is allowing all members of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College community (West, Polytechnic and Tempe campuses and ASU Online) to have access to the educational experience(s) it offers. The proposed IgnitED Lab model would take on a multi-campus, multi-modal dimension with the central hub being located at the Tempe campus, with different locations at each campus, including the newly constructed makerspace in the Herberger Young Scholars Academy, as well as an online virtual component. All of these spaces would be available to all affiliates of MLFTC. The open, exploratory nature of these digital playgrounds affords users the opportunity to try out the educational potential of traditional and emerging technologies in a safe, comfortable, and supported environment where the emphasis is centered on play, experimentation and discovery. As the development continues we will provide updates and information on the technologies and openings of the various campus locations. We are excited to continue this development and forge a new era of reimagined labs for exploring and creating new ideas through the use of technology.