QUT has welcomed students this week to its new, state-of-the-art $94.4 million Education Precinct on the Kelvin Grove campus.
The Precinct provides contemporary flexible and technology-equipped teaching spaces, and its centrepiece is the Sphere — a five-metre diameter LED globe suspended over two floors which is complemented by a 4.8 metre-wide interactive digital wall screen.
The Sphere and digital touchscreen will be learning and teaching tools, with a changing menu of innovative and interactive content.
The first Sphere program was developed by QUT teacher education and early childhood researchers in collaboration with QUT’s Visualisation and eResearch (ViseR) team.
It demonstrates the importance of the early years in brain development and how everyday activities, play, games and reading fire activity in a child’s brain.
QUT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil said the university was excited to welcome students this semester to the new Precinct.
“This is a significant investment by the university in enhancing the student learning experience and continuing to provide quality teaching and education,” Professor Sheil said.
“These facilities have been purpose-designed and reflect QUT’s commitment to applying technology and immersive digital environments in teaching, research and engagement.”
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education Professor Carol Nicoll said the Precinct teaching spaces, which had been trialled for two years, can be configured for face-to-face and online learning and include customised spaces with audio-visual equipment and other technologies to encourage creative and collaborative learning.
“We’re preparing and equipping teachers to thrive in a rapidly changing digital world, to be able to incorporate technologies and innovation into their teaching so they can inspire students and provide the best possible learning outcomes,” Professor Nicoll said.
“Our teacher education courses are preparing graduates to be well-rounded professionals who teach in the classrooms of today and into the future.”
The Education Precinct is connected with the QUT Library and HiQ, QUT’s contemporary student service centre, and also houses the Oodgeroo Unit, QUT’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student support unit.
- The Education Precinct was designed by Wilson Architects and Henning Larsen, and built by Hansen Yuncken.
- QUT Facilities Management managed delivery of the project over the past four years with management consultancy Turner & Townsend Thinc.
- The Sphere, from leading display technology company Leyard – Linso, weighs 3.5 tonnes. It comprises 1040 panels with a total of 7 million 3mm pixels. Each pixel is an individual LED light.
- The Sphere is the only one of its type in the world with 3mm LED 4K resolution, which allows it to operate in full daylight.
- Built and tested in China, the Sphere was dismantled and shipped to QUT and then installed in the Education Precinct atrium.
- Programs on the Sphere are run by a best-in-class gaming computer.
- Future programs developed may include augmented reality to enhance the 3D learning experience. A climate change simulator is also under development.