What technology do you really need?
There are so many options for technology that it can be really daunting to filter through all the information especially when its all so technical! But the key item to consider is whether you are looking for a fixed PC type solution, or you want a more flexible laptop solution. Both of these have a real impact on the design and layout of your IT Suite.
For example, laptop computers give you a more flexible approach to your room and mean that you can get very creative in your IT suite design, combining flexible furniture that can be moved around, with high desking and even soft seating areas. However they do require careful management to ensure that they are charged and ready to go for each lesson, a charging trolley is perfect to achieve this.
How will your IT Suite be used?
Are you lucky enough to have an IT Suite that is a dedicated space? Or do you need to use the space for other subjects too? There are a number of ways to make your IT Suite flexible and multipurpose. One is to use laptops that are locked away charging when not in use and the other is integrated ICT desks, like the M1 and P1. These allow you to have a fixed PC solution, which can still be hidden when the space needs to be used without technology.
How will you embrace new technology in the space?
What other types of new technology and skillsets do you want to encourage in your IT Suite? How do you plan to teach coding? Do you want a dedicated area for a recording studio, or green screening? What about VR? There are lots of options to consider, and going to a technology event like the BETT show can be a great way to get ideas.
What style of learning do you want to encourage?
Do you want your students to sit at their desks in rows focusing on their own work, or do you want more of a collaborative learning style? Both approaches have different plus and minus points but influence the room layout, furniture and technology within the space.
Where will you store all your equipment?
It’s likely that you will have a number of different styles of equipment that you use within your IT Suite, VR Headsets, Drones, Tablets etc and all of these will need to be stored securely away. A solution like a TeacherWall can be the answer to a storage problem and can be customised to fit your exact requirements.
How will the teacher/lecturer function in the space?
One of the most important elements is of course the teacher and ensuring that they have everything they need in order to teach effectively. Their teaching preferences will also impact the style of learning. In most cases they will require some kind of large screen area for demonstrations, but may also want repeater screens, and the ability to cast content onto the screens from around the room. Do they want to be flexible and moving around the space, or in a fixed position at the front?
Where does your power and data come from, and is there enough?
Yes it’s a bit of a boring one compared to the other considerations, but nonetheless it’s an important consideration. IT Suites need a lot of power and data, and this needs to be easy to access for the students.
Of course zioxi have been designing IT Suites for over 35 years and we are delighted to share this experience with you. We offer free space planning and consultancy with no obligation at all which is a great way to see how your IT Suite could look. Contact us to book in. Looking for inspiration? Check out our inspirational spaces and case studies to see what is working for others.