Your classroom…does it work for you?

Students assembling for another lecture in a busy classroom.

We all know what it’s like to enter a classroom for the first time and realize…it’s old, outdated, and it’s going to be jammed. But you also realize you need this class and so you scurry to find the best seat possible.

In truth all classrooms do not look like this at PSU but if you find yourself in one of the older halls, like this one in Cramer Hall, Rm. 171–this is what you will find. When classrooms like this one were constructed this was the norm. This was modern education at that time. But, have classrooms changed since then? In my view, rows of small wooden slide-in seats with non-adjustable mini-desk tops and seats are something from another era.  Don’t students now deserve modern and comfortable seating suitable for all types of students, big,  short, or disabled? I think that large flat and adjustable height surfaces are best for study in classrooms. I also think it prudent to have an area to hang up a coat or to store a backpack or book carrier. Many students now utilize laptop computers, Kindles, or electronic tablets that require close-by electrical connections. I do not see many classrooms fitted with these. I think this is a fast growing deficit for many students. In addition, many classes now utilize online texts for use in the course for your homework. This will require that you, the student, have access to the use of a suitable computer while not at school. But do you find these same required online texts available via classroom computers to use and follow lectures during class? No, you do not. I think this is wrong.  Do these types of considerations affect your choice of where you acquire your education?

For the cost of an education these days I do think it only fair that the institution keep up with modern facilities and do not try to offer a 2012 education with 1960 equipment.

Do old ideas come from old seats?

When will PSU modernize the entire campus and get up-to-date with the life of today?

5 thoughts on “Your classroom…does it work for you?

  1. Chris jRay says:

    Mike a good article. If they did all of the updates needed for all the modern equipment you can bet the cost for education would go up considerably.

    • Jackie Staley says:

      Catchy title with pertinent points, Mike. Thanks for calling the attention of readers to this situation.
      J. Staley

  2. Casy says:

    Being larger, 6’4, and left-handed, these classrooms are a nightmare. Besides the obvious size restrictions, there are usually one-to-two left-handed desks in the classroom, as you can imagine, these are sought after by the numerous left-handers. The downside: even with having a physical limitation, being tall, moderately large, or left-handed is not a disability and is not covered by the Disability Resource Center. Therefore, students in my case can only speak to the professors to see if the classroom can be relocated. And yes, I have undergone this bureaucratic process; however, I was asked to “stick it out.”

    Another issue with disabilities, there are no elevators in numerous PSU buildings. Professors have to tell disabled students they must meet elsewhere if they need course help. I’d like to note the vast amount of new buildings created by PSU to house more students. Because, as we know, bringing in more business trumps the needs of the student population.

    It’s safe to say, Cramer Hall is a disruption in the learning process and marginalizing disabled students more-so than ever. These issues have been address to higher-ups; however, once again, the bureaucratic nature of this institution continues to limit its ability to address student-needs.

    Very nice write-up, Mike. It hits close to home and, surprisingly enough, I had to deal with this very same issue this term – Fall 2012.

  3. Kristin Bell says:

    I guess none of the administrators are larger-sized people who have to squish into these desks for hours on end…desks that often cause crippling pain, discomfort, and wounds. Great post Casy, sorry I’m so late to the conversation. Is it so much to ask for a comfortable place to sit when in class?!?

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