Tokyo Tech News
LAUNCH UP!, a two-day event to promote and explore the variety of ways to utilize the renewed Learning & Information Commons on the 1st floor of Tokyo Tech's Centennial Hall, was held on December 21 and 22, 2015.
In addition to testing out the various installations in the unique space and observing demonstrations and displays by education and ICT-focused companies, the nearly 300 participants shared ideas regarding potential future uses of the Information & Learning Commons.
Panasonic System Networks presented several ICT solutions intended for use in university-level education and research. Uchida Systems delivered demos of some of their latest active learning support tools, which can be utilized during group discussions and workshops.
Since its facelift in October 2015, the 1st floor of Centennial Hall has been available for both students and faculty members for self-study, seminars, club events, and any other creative activities its users can think of. To give an innovative space an innovative name, Tokyo Tech held a competition to create a nickname for the facility. Entries were submitted during the LAUNCH UP! event and online until January 22, 2016. As a result, the new space was affectionately named T-POT. A warm and cozy place where people can enjoy a cup of tea and discuss anything and everything, T-POT stands for "Tokyo Tech – People, Opportunity, Technology."
In addition to functioning as a lounge where people can just rest and enjoy their lunch, T-POT has been used as a testing ground for numerous events co-sponsored by the Museum and various Tokyo Tech departments since its renewal.
The LAUNCH UP! event in December was a showcase of the various uses T-POT can offer. At the opening of the event, Tokyo Tech Museum Director and Executive Vice President for Finance and Public Relations Kiyoshi Otani and Executive Vice President for Education and International Affairs Toshio Maruyama highlighted the facility's importance in the diversified learning environment at the Institute. Renewed facilities are a crucial component of the education reforms commencing in April 2016.
One of the first day's highlights was the "Facilitating effective dialogue" lecture led by Professor Tamio Nakano from the Institute Management Center. Focusing on group work and open debate, the session allowed the roughly 100 participants to engage in animated discussion, and displayed T-POT's capacity to accommodate large-scale group activities.
Tokyo Tech students arranged two chamber music sessions over the two-day event. The first session was performed on the evening of December 21, while the second was a lunch time matinee on the following day, allowing faculty members and families with children to enjoy the performance.
Nobody knows the campus quite like its students. On the evening of the 21st, Tokyo Tech students supporting the Center for Public Affairs and Communications delivered a Campus Tour Design Workshop. After receiving hints and tips regarding points of interest on Ookayama Campus, participants created their own tour for visitors.
The first seminar on Day Two was an introduction to the development of TokyoTechX MOOCs, led by Associate Professor Hideki Mori from the Center for Innovative Teaching Learning. Students involved in the content creation process spoke of their experiences, and participants were able to experience the actual shooting of MOOCs in a booth set up at T-POT. A visual brainstorming session using Lego building bricks regarding the future of learning was also held.
The second seminar of the day was dedicated to the creation and design of future active learning environments. Ideas and concrete examples of potential T-POT events and projects were presented by three experts, all of whom have solid experience in designing active learning environments for universities and other educational institutions:
All three speakers came to the conclusion that, with its unusually high ceiling, its proximity to the historically significant Tokyo Tech Museum and Archives, and its ability to function both as a place of study and an information center, T-POT has clear advantages when compared with other active learning spaces.
These past two days have been imperative in launching the role of Centennial Hall in Tokyo Tech's education reforms, and in further creating an environment which encourages a spirit of self-improvement and proactive learning. We hope that T-POT continues to be a lively place for both student and faculty activities, for which we will provide full support. We encourage everyone to come and visit the space and share their opinions so that T-POT can develop further as a facility which serves all members of the Institute.
December 21 and 22, 2015