Philosophy & Rationale
What Is Educational Technology?

Educational technology in most modern academic settings encompasses multimedia presentation (audiovisual) capabilities such as large screen video display from a variety of source types, audio and video origination and distribution, equipment remote control, etc. It also includes wired and wireless network infrastructure and the use of various fixed and portable computing devices, and back-of-house data center support.

New construction and building renovation, affords a unique opportunity to conceive brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, and in particular, to upgrade classroom and other teaching spaces and technology. With this opportunity comes a formidable challenge: to create learning spaces that meet faculty requirements for the foreseeable future, and, perhaps more importantly, to infuse these spaces with the necessary flexibility to accommodate the evolutionary trajectory of the teaching methodologies that will inevitably develop in the decades to come.
Why is Planning Difficult?

Under the best of circumstances, educational facilities technology planning is difficult for a number of reasons:

* technology keeps changing, so planning over time becomes a moving target, and there is the fear that decisions made today will be out of date at move-in time
* cutting edge state-of-the-art technology may have advantages, but is both expensive and has not yet stood the test of time
* users are often times intimidated by unfamiliar technologies
* various user groups, departments, and other stakeholders have varied and occasionally conflicting agendas and priorities
* budgets allocations may not yet have been defined, are always limited, and come from multiple sources*" the use of learning facilities will inevitably evolve over time and must be flexible to accommodate change

In our experience, the difficulty in arriving at a complete and validated educational technology facilities program has less to do with choosing appropriate technology, which is, admittedly, challenging, than other factors. Several structural difficulties impede the process. These may include:

* the distraction of assigned project staff who may have other full time responsibilities, in addition to planning for new facilities
* gathering various faculty and administrative stake holders together to discuss requirements
* gathering the opinions of faculty members, overall, rather than merely a subset of the input from more vocal staff
* making the appropriate distinction between facilities design and infrastructure, and equipment, as well as initial equipment purchase and future capabilities expansion
* balancing the need for pedagogy-specific tailored classrooms, against multipurpose and flexible facilities design
* balancing the priorities of faculty, departments, administrative and facilities support group, budgetary constraints, and the limitations of architectural design and space allocations
*keeping all stakeholders appraised of decisions made, and setting expectations appropriately for all parties involved