Collaboration Technology

What is collaboration technology?

As used here, collaboration technology refers to the sharing of computer screens.

In it’s basic form, it’s simple hardware switching that allows a laptop screen to be broadcast to a monitor visible to a group working around a table.

More complex forms allow more than one screen to be projected to two or more monitors and may include workspace capture and other features.

What kind of collaboration technology is planned for the Lower Commons?

The Lower Commons is expected to have four collaboration stations of the basic type.  Each of the stations will provide various connectors (DVI, VGA, HDMI) that laptops use to connect to projectors and other monitors.  A simple switching system will allow a laptop screen to be easily seen by everyone in the groups.

These stations will use the same technology that Drake OIT is using for similar installations across campus.  Students won’t need to learn special software or check out special adapters to use the Library stations.

 Where in the Lower Commons?

Current plans call for four collaboration stations located along the “power fence” at the center of the room.  This space is well-suited for groups.

“]Diagram showing proposed location for collaboration stations.

Proposed location for the collaboration stations showing a configuration that seats five. NOTE: Newer drawings (below) provide more seating.


A newer version of the power wall layout

This current diagram shows seating for seven. The rectangular portions of each group are fixed to the wall. The semi-circular pieces are moveable.


Drawing of the collaboration station

This view shows how the collaboration stations work with the power wall.


Some representative pictures

A basic collaboration station allows many people to see a laptop screen at the same time.

A basic collaboration station allows many people to see a laptop screen at the same time. This one at Illinois State is free standing and has a table that easily seats five.


Basic collaboration stations don't need special furniture. For this station used at Springfield College, the monitor is mounted on the wall. Having ample power available is important.


Collaboration technology is particularly well suited to group study rooms

Collaboration technology is particularly well suited for group study rooms as shown here at San Diego State. Although we won't have study rooms in the Lower Commons, collaborative studies similar to this are an objective in the next (Upper Commons) phase.


More advanced stations use multiple monitors to enhance group collaboration. These sorts of stations are an objective the for the next (Upper Commons) phase of the renovation.