Saturday, September 05, 2015

UTSA Libraries opens GroupSpot digital classroom for group collaboration

GroupSpot

GroupSpot digital classroom in John Peace Library

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(July 16, 2014) -- UTSA Libraries has opened GroupSpot, a state-of-the-art digital classroom located on the second floor of the John Peace Library on the Main Campus. The room was created to foster academic success through library instruction and group collaboration.

GroupSpot is an interactive space that facilitates team engagement through small-group tables equipped with laptops and shared displays. The room can hold 100 students with its 20 tables, each complete with five laptops and a 46-inch monitor. GroupSpot contains two retractable projection screens, two wall monitors and two podiums each with a laptop. It also has 20 additional chairs and can be divided in half for smaller audiences.

The collaborative technology in GroupSpot is powered by TeamSpot, forward-thinking software that provides interactive tools to boost group performance. Using TeamSpot software, students can share and modify information directly from their laptops to the 46-inch monitor. This serves as a backdrop to enhance group contributions, with each member able to view and edit information on the shared display.

"GroupSpot changes the learning dynamic and opens up a world of opportunities for innovative teaching practices, including collaborative learning exercises and flipped classroom activities," said Mary Dixson, assistant dean for faculty services.

During the summer, GroupSpot is open for students to use as a cooperative study space whenever the library is open, except for 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, when it is reserved for other programs. Starting in the fall, the room will be open study space during the evenings and weekends and used for classes weekdays.

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Learn more at the UTSA Libraries website.

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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