A NEW ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING, LEARNING, AND RESEARCH
A new collaborative environment and makerspace for faculty and students will open in fall of 2020 for the Fordham university community. LITE (Learning and Innovative Technology Environment) will feature virtual reality rooms, podcast studios, a full suite of multimedia production hardware and software, and other technology resources supporting education and exploration when the space opens in the lower level of the Walsh Library. A collaboration between the Fordham University Libraries and Fordham IT, LITE will support experimentation with technology and engaged learning activities that benefit academic and personal growth.
This state-of-the-art space will give students and faculty from both the sciences and the humanities access to a variety of software and equipment. Computers will be fully loaded with software for data collection and analysis, graphic design, audio and video editing, and architecture. Students can design software, create virtual realms, and learn how to program. In addition to a virtual reality room, equipment will include a variety of 3D printers, prototyping tools, and collaborative tools, such as electronic whiteboards. The space will encourage collaboration among small and large groups, as well as with remote contributors.
An area outfitted as a Genius Bar-type setting will provide library services, IT support, technology training, and instructional technology consultation. Workshops for using the equipment and software in various academic disciplines, as well as specific courses, will be on offer.
LITE will support much needed collaborative and innovative work opportunities for students and faculty. Its resources may bolster current research and open up possibilities for new or existing research grants and awards. LITE’s resources can be used by researchers and students alike to ask questions that they may not previously have been equipped to answer. Ideas may take on new life as unexplored dimensions emerge, forging new paths of study.
LITE will surely increase Fordham’s competitiveness with other institutions. It is expected to attract new faculty and students with different interests, further diversifying our population. Students will learn new skills at LITE, making them more competitive once they enter the job market. Graduate students who plan to pursue teaching careers will also gain crucial experience with essential tools and skills that search committees expect of job candidates.
LITE has been designed to constantly evolve so as to keep pace with the changing and advancing needs of our faculty and students. The campus closure due to Covid-19 has slowed construction of the site. However, a soft opening is expected by the start of the fall 2020 semester.