The distance-enabled classroom or learning lab (DELL) looks much like any modern classroom. On closer look, though, technology has been built into every square inch of the classroom: walls, floors, desks and instructor's console.
First, the classroom has at least four large television monitors; these can be individually controlled to show the instructor, PowerPoint slides, white board, document camera, students in the classroom, or remote students.
Second, the ceiling contains speakers strategically placed around the room, as well as at each student's work area, such that students may activate or deactivate their individual desk speakers as they choose. Third, the instructor's console may be raised or lowered to adjust to an individual instructor's height (even seated). Finally, mats in the floor communicate to the cameras to automatically follow the instructor as he/she walks around the room.
An important requirement of the distance-enabled approach is a well-trained technical assistant, always present during class to ensure smooth operation. The technician is focused on keeping all elements (e.g., speakers, monitors, lights, etc.) running smoothly, as well as communications with remote students to ensure their full participation so that the instructor can focus on learning activities.