Multimedia traditional lab
Open setting
Computer labs connected to media center
Networkable/wireless both
Search engines, research tools, graphic mapping software, multimedia software, programming and design software
iPad type personal devices

Media Center
Center of school
Theater/literacy area
Access to outdoor seating and learning (atrium) - with windows to the media center
Open/high ceilings/natural light
Books on outside
Learning centers inside
Portable smartboard
Mobile classrooms ( laptop carts, with scanners,printers, cameras, video)
Comfy movable chairs/furniture
Kindle for older students

Conference Room
Video conferencing capabilities
Round table seating (30 students - with laptops)

Computer Labs
30 networked duo platform (PC/Mac)
Computers face instruction
Theater seating - with ergonomically correct seating
Natural light
Video conferencing capabilities

Live Broadcast Studio
Video cameras
Live feed
Editing software
Green screen

Part 2 --> initial 'story' concepts for each space (with only a hint of a 'drawing')
Media lab for K-6 learners

  • focal point for the school; center of building
  • theater attached and/ or literacy area --> interchangeable and 'cut-off' from main space; theater seating, etc.
  • outside seating / atrium attached --> internal courtyard (not external)
  • high/variety of ceiling heights, skylights, etc. even in the computer lab
  • book shelves to the 'outside' of the center + tables in the middle
  • laptop carts and mobile Smart boards --> allow movement and various 'teaching' arrangements
  • comfortable chairs (couches, bean bag chairs, etc) --> allowing folks to relax, etc.
  • conference room in the 'center' --> w/ video conferencing capabilities, Smart board, etc. 30+ seats for adustable arrangements. Ergonomic scenario.
  • computer labs related to the media lab --> theater seating so laptops face 'teacher'/stage

Emerging trends and observations

Media/tech lab:

  • Central location: consider multiple exits per fire code. Atriums usually transition space. How can this be flexed for other uses? Seating, garage door separator to divide space and allow adjustments. Lovely idea to
  • Hub notion could be extended: hub for community at large? Examples: YMCA, senior center. Shared community extends purposes of space beyond teaching/learning.
  • Bookshelves: state specs determine allotment of square footage for shelves/storage. Shelves shouldn't be taller than kids. Sightlines for adults. Shelves could be used to divide grand space into activity zones. If in center, use to create paths, focus collaboration, reduce to kid scale.
  • Laptops, rolling white boards for brainstorming. Use whiteboards to trick eye into seeing a wall.
  • Comfy chairs: Bravo. Beanbags are good. Consider lofts, nooks, multiple height benches. Soft seating, in the parlance.
  • Conference room: If in center, it must have glass walls, or it will break up the grand atrium space. Consider developing it as a professional development/learning space for use by teacher leaders, community.
  • Lab:What do we mean by computer lab? Unpack and move beyond *iconic* idea of lab. Is it a repository of devices (laptops, iPads) or a place for skill development?
  • Pluses: soft seating, adjustable furniture,
  • Example: Cristo Rey in Mpls has removable seating to flip between formal and informal. Designed by Fielding/Nair with winding marketplace. Ref video of Fielding interview.
  • Challenge yourself to rethink assumption about any aspect. Everything can be redesigned.

Supporting the 21st Century Learning Design

Our vision of the ideal media center/computer lab was built with the 21st Century Learning Design in mind. We feel that the Partnership for the 21st Century Skills most clearly exemplifies our thoughts when we outlined our
framework for the media center and computer lab. As our design began to take shape in the formatting process, it turned itself from a computer lab and media center into a professional development center, conferencing room, and community theater. We believe this follows the 21st Century pillar of Career and Life Skills as well as Media, Information, and Technology. These pillars are surrounded by the foundation of Curriculum, Learning Environments, and Professional Development. Our media center and computer lab encompass all three when you look at the design.
As stated on the P21 website, "Those who think critically and communicate effectively must build on a base of core academic subject knowledge. Within the context of core knowledge instruction, students must also learn the essential skills for success in today's world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration." ( A close look at our design will demonstrate that the books and curriculum are found at the center of the design and provide for our foundation. On the outside of our foundation, tools to build technology, communication, and life skills are found to support this base. We believe our 21st Century media/technology learning center would make an exceptional learning environment for all learners.