Monday night, the DEN was on the road to Tillman Hall. Known to few students (unless explored), the second floor of Tillman Hall houses the Digital Media and Learning and Game Labs.
Awaiting the night to start, Dr. D. Matthew Boyer, told us a little bit about the labs and how they came to be. The labs’ physical areas (furniture, paint, construction, etc.) was all paid for by the College of Education. Later, the IT Student Advisory Board gifted the labs with all of the technology in them.
Before it was know as the “DML” Lab, both the main lab and the game lab were computer labs. The main space being the Dell Lab, and the game lab being an iMac Lab. Although, we did not get rid of these spaces completely, they just moved down the hall.
The DML labs are not the main attraction of Tillman Hall because they are based for a “interest driven” student space. With that being said, the labs hold some technology that we can find in other areas on campus, however, those have more barriers. In the labs, all of the technology is accessible for the majority of the day, on weekends you can make appointments to use the game lab, but for the most part, it is a pretty open space.
If students know about the labs, it tends to be perceived that you need a purpose to go into them. With technology such as a 3D printer, a video production room, an audio production room, a collaborative writing area, and various computers and games throughout, it is encouraged that you just go in and create or play. Dr. Boyer said, “Some of the best creative inquiries have come from students just using the equipment for their personal use.”
If that still makes you uncomfortable, there is a general class, Foundations of Digital Media and Learning or EDF 4800, that can be taken as an elective or can satisfy students’ STS requirement.
So how does all this tie into the den? Prototyping, collaboration, hands-on thinking… these can all lead to great ideas. With these resources and the great minds around Clemson, anything is possible!