• Cutting Edge

New classroom designs ‘the future of learning,’

Cliff Whittingstall says he’s working on classrooms that represent “the future of learning.”

Whittingstall, a managing partner at PBK, a firm that specializes in higher education design, says on the Cutting EDge podcast that he’s developing future-proof designs for a rapidly changing technological environment.

“We try to create classroom environments that are flat,” Whittingstall says. “Think of every wall as a front of the classroom in many ways.”

The firm is working with Galveston College, a community college in the Gulf Coast of Texas, to design a new Health Sciences Education Center. Another project, to help train teachers to teach special needs children at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, is designed to be “fully immersive,” Whittingstall says.

“Every surface of the room is a big, large projected screen and it interacts with you so you’re fully immersed in the environment,” he says. “To me, you can’t do [this kind of learning] in a tiered lecture hall. I actually think this is the next level of virtual reality.”

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Cutting Edge


Every two weeks, the Cutting EDge Podcast will bring you the latest in higher education technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending topics in depth and highlight news across the campus IT landscape. Each episode will feature conversations with top executives across higher education on things like hybrid learning, emerging technology, cybersecurity and modernization.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop & EdScoop at Scoop News Group. Williams has spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins-and-outs of state and local government as well as higher education. Williams started his journalism career in regional journalism in his native Pennsylvania, and also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.