During my time studying Educational Technology on the San Diego State University in 2014, both I and a number of other students from the MA program were approached by administrators with a request to design three newly acquired learning spaces on the campus. We were not the first group of students from our program who had been approached for this purpose: SDSU administrators had periodically sought assistance from the graduate students in our program in designing various rooms and other spaces on the campus since 2007. Graduate students from the educational technology department who decided to take on these projects were able to obtain 1-credit towards their program of study as part of a 700-level seminar course.

In Spring 2014, SDSU administrators obtained an approved budget with which to redesign three existing classrooms into newly updated learning environments. One of these was a conference room (Room 1132), and my team was tasked with outlining a proposal (with recommendations) to remodel this space.

This conference room is located in the Humanities building at San Diego State University campus. The Humanities building consists of 2 separate buildings joined by open-air walkways and a courtyard in the center. The courtyard was refurbished around 2007 when the Arts & Letter Building was completed on the east side of campus. The Instructional Technology Services department utilizes the space for daily staff meetings and meetings with external clients.

For this special project, I worked alongside four other educational technology graduate students, and each of us were assigned specific roles on the project team based on our unique insights and levels of expertise in various areas: Veronica Perondi (Ergonomics and Room Layout Specialist), Catherine Kwong (Furnishings Specialist), Mary Tary Schneider (Acoustics and Lighting Specialist), and Ernest Williams (Audio/Video Technologies Specialist). I was assigned to the role of Computer Technologies Specialist (Software & Hardware) due to my experience with computer technology.

One of the first challenges we had to overcome as a team related to one of our teammates being unable to attend many of our team meetings due to personal reasons. In the absence of this teammate, I volunteered to take on this individual's duties in addition to my own.

I conducted thorough research, data gathering, and analysis for this project, which included one-on-one interviews with staff members who utilized the existing space, to compose an in-depth Technology Plan Proposal for the conference room. My proposal took into consideration the needs of those who regularly utilized the space; the budget and time frame of the project; the long-term sustainability of updatable technology; and the flexibility for any potential expansion or changes to the room's functions in the future.

In addition to the other forms of hardware and software that I recommended for the space, I also designed and developed a Mobile-Friendly "Cyber Space" to accompany the physical conference space. I decided to create a very simple interface that could be easily displayed on mobile devices with small screens and to utilize Google technology to power the technology, since I was informed that accessibility to shared applications and other technology is a priority of the college administrators. SDSU staff and student emails are powered by Google accounts, meaning that not only would they have access to this technology, but they would also likely be already familiar with using it, reducing any potential learning curve. The purpose of the cyberspace is to allow conferences hosted in the physical room to be recorded and streamed in live-time to both students' and staffs' mobile devices anywhere on campus via Google Hangout's (On Air) video-streaming technology. Those hosting the conference or seminar in the physical space could opt to enable or disable a chatbox on the mobile site that would allow viewers to ask questions or participate in the discussion going on in the conference room from anywhere on campus. The presenter could verbally respond to these questions during the presentation, and these responses would be picked up by viewers via the video-streaming technology. Lastly, Google Drive's collaborative technology allows for users anywhere on campus to collaborate on documents with others inside the conference room (should the conference room participants choose to enable this function).

I created a short, informative video that discusses my ideas behind the creation of this "digital space for a physical place," which you can watch here: