On our blog, we share multiple perspectives of those involved in the Mosaic Initiative. In previous posts, we have shared the voice of faculty, researchers, developers, and learning spaces designers. Today’s blog shares the student’s perspective of a Mosaic active learning classroom on the IU Bloomington campus.
Mary Clare Novak is a junior at Indiana University Bloomington majoring in media advertising and public relations and minoring in marketing and Spanish. She calls Geneva, IL, a suburb about an hour west of Chicago, home and enjoys activities she can share with friends, family and strangers. Mary Clare shares that she loves the Media School at IU because of the wonderful people she is able to learn from and work with. After graduation, she plans to move to a new city and work for a public relations firm that works with a variety of clients.
As a Junior, Mary Clare has experienced many different learning spaces on the Bloomington campus. In her guest post today, she shares how her background has led her to the IU Media School and how the Mosaic active learning classrooms have impacted her learning experience while here.
My entire life has revolved around teamwork. Growing up as an athlete with three siblings, my day to day activities have always included tackling problems and reaching solutions with others.
“I’ll defend number 3 if you take number 25.”
“I’ll unload the dishwasher while you sweep the kitchen.”
Looking back on it, that must be why I abandoned the idea of becoming a high school English teacher, and launched my education in the direction of public relations. Forcing a group of students to read and interpret Hamlet might seem riveting for some, but not me. No, I want to be on the other side. The side that creates. The side that reaches people. The side that influences. And I want to do it with others.
So I went for it. I started my glorious and stress inducing trek into becoming the next woman that will be responsible for a bounce back after scandals and social media mishaps. After I got through all of the text book definitions of what the difference between an audience and a public is, the real work began. Although I feel safe and well provided for at Indiana University’s Media School, I have something to confess. Walking into my first 300 level Public Relations Writing course into a classroom full of my soon-to-be competitors and a professor who has traveled the world for 20 years as a conflict reporter was absolutely terrifying.
Little did I know, these people would become my new teammates in creating materials that I would later use to kick-off my career. I owe it to them, and the Mosaic classroom.
I’ve never been one that gets excited about technology. That might be due to my incompetence with it, or the fact that its constant advancements make me shiver. However, Franklin Hall Room 114 was too wonderful to scare me. It was almost… beautiful.
When I walked in on my first day, I recalled a time my friends and I took over that room to study for finals the previous semester. We used the massive screen in the front of the room to display motivational music videos. I wrote out accounting equations on one of the three white boards while my friends tinkered with connecting their laptops to one of the many available screens. I thought I was a pro at handling all of the room’s wonders, but I had so much more to learn!
Our class immediately dove into experimenting with the technology, and to my delight, we did it in groups! The “get to know you” portion of the class not only involved acquainting ourselves with our teams for the semester, but also the different aspects of the Mosaic classroom.
First, we had to move into our groups. The desks equipped with wheels made that almost effortless! As we conversed, we were asked to take notes on our desks. That’s right, ON our desks. As our professor started to kindly toss Expo markers at us, it all started making sense. Our desks were white boards, too!
Those realizations were enough to keep me full of excitement until we learned about Solstice. Solstice is basically Bluetooth for your computer screen. You use a code to connect your device to whichever monitor you are viewing, and sure enough it will display your screen. This was key for working in groups, because instead of huddling around one 13 inch MacBook Air, we could view our work on a mounted plasma screen.
As we piled up our finished press releases, public service announcements and feature stories, the grand finale grew nearer and nearer: the final presentation. Usually, presenting my work to an experienced marketer in a room full of eyes would make me a little nervous. But standing in front of that ginormous screen with my group that displayed my work made me feel like a real public relations practitioner.
Collaboration is rooted in many educational initiatives. As a believer in teamwork, I am always thrilled when I get to create with people who are equally enthusiastic about the work as I am. But working in Franklin Hall Room 114 is a game changer. You get a bonus teammate: the Mosaic classroom.
The IU Media School recently went through a renovation with the Learning Spaces team and opened their new spaces in the Fall of 2016. You can follow and connect with the Media School @IUMediaSchool on all of your favorite social medias. To learn more about the Mosaic Initiative, explore our website mosaic.iu.edu and subscribe to the Mosaic Blog today to ensure you aren’t missing any future posts.