Higher Ed AV groups come together
[Los Angeles, October 6, 2023] — The Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance (HETMA) is proud to announce a partnership with FLEXspace, The Flexible Learning Environments eXchange. As the official advocacy organization for the audiovisual industry’s higher education vertical, this partnership represents HETMA’s ongoing commitment to offering its members resources for fostering innovation within the education technology sector and FLEXspace’s dedication to providing impactful collaborative resources to educators and classroom designers. FLEXspace joins Higher Ed AV in HETMA’s continued mission to equip their AV vertical with tools for success. Under the proposed agreement, HETMA will assume full financial responsibility of FLEXspace and lead the strategic direction forward through a newly-formed advisory committee of subject matter experts from within the higher education vertical. Further details will be released in the coming months.
FLEXspace.org was launched after the SUNY Provost charged his grassroots advisory team with, ‘How can we better share information about building and renovating learning spaces – especially with all the enthusiasm around active learning pedagogy?’ “Watching this shared resource grow among educators has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” notes Lisa Stephens, SUNY Senior Strategist for Academic Innovation and FLEXspace executive director. By integrating FLEXspace’s cutting-edge platform and its skilled team into its vibrant membership of technology professionals, HETMA is set to pave the way for groundbreaking innovations in learning space design and enhanced service delivery for campus communities. Stephens adds, “FLEXspace is one of the largest global educational collaboration efforts to date combining efforts of educators, designers and professional support staff. There is a lot of mutual respect in these communities that are dedicated to pedagogical infrastructure supporting our students – on any campus, secondary school, or related non-profit educational institution.” HETMA’s mantra of ‘by us, for us,’ is a natural complement to the mission of FLEXspace.
HETMA cofounder and chair, Joe Way recalls his first encounter with FLEXspace: “I remember being tasked with creating the most innovative classrooms at my former institution, but not knowing exactly where to start. Browsing the incredible contributions by our colleagues sparked my imagination that naturally generated collaboration with other schools and manufacturer partners. I couldn’t have been successful without FLEXspace, and why HETMA has always been a proud supporter.” Way continues: “It didn’t take more than five minutes of acquisition discussion to realize HETMA and FLEXspace were born out of the same desire to serve those who serve our important vertical.”
Gerry Hanley, retired Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Technology Services at the CSU Chancellors Office adds that The California State University System realized many benefits of FLEXspace, one during the planning for maker spaces throughout the system: “Using FLEXspace saved a lot of time, money and effort and recognized exemplary practices as we worked together as a system to implement these new maker spaces at multiple campuses. Improving the cost-efficiencies and effectiveness of this process was very exciting and having the support of directors of academic technology (DATs) was the reason I was able to carve budget out to support FLEXspace.”
In the coming months, FLEXspace will release version 3.0, a more integrated version, to allow collaborative engagement throughout the entire design process from concept, to product sourcing, to showcasing success stories. A preview of the new platform will be demonstrated at EDUCAUSE 2023 and Association for Learning Environments.
A strategic steering committee comprising members from both HETMA and FLEXspace will work collaboratively to plan for more strategic integration and amalgamation of technologies, processes, and teams as part of this agreement. The priority remains to continue delivering exceptional service to our clients and partners during this transition phase, while building on the strengths added by the HETMA community and Higher Ed AV Media. The core team will include Lisa Stephens of SUNY, Rebecca Frazee from UC San Francisco, Joe Way from UCLA, Erin Maher-Moran of Johns Hopkins, John Pfeffer of University at Buffalo, Andy Vogel from The Ohio State University, and Chi Hang Lo of USC, will manage new initiatives around the FLEXspace platform. Rebecca Frazee explains, “What amazes me most about FLEXspace is the enthusiastic generosity of our colleagues. It’s not just about the learning environments with academic technologies, it’s a community of professionals who share documentation and processes of all kinds to ensure inclusion, including a variety of assessment tools and how to improve the culture of education.”
“HETMA is excited to embark on this new chapter, confident that the union with FLEXspace will forge a future where technology and innovation converge to create unparalleled solutions in learning space design,” says Erin Maher-Moran, HETMA vice-chair, and host of AVNation’s EDTech podcast.
Current and future sponsors of HETMA.org, FLEXspace.org, and HigherEdAV.com will receive benefits of a more integrated platform. Higher ed members interested in joining the HETMA-FLEXspace Committee may join the newly formed group on the HETMA community channel at https://community.hetma.org.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Britt Yenser, Communications Chair
Jon Hamilton, Sponsorship Chair
Joe Way, Cofounder and Chair
The Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance (HETMA) is a 501(C)3 advocacy organization focused on growing the influence and elevating the profile of the higher education audiovisual vertical. We accomplish our mission by connecting our community, educating our members, amplifying our collective voice, and impacting the broader AV industry. As an inclusive, supportive, and accessible organization, HETMA does not just represent a cause, we represent a community. We are by us and for us. HETMA’s portfolio includes a robust membership of higher ed technology managers, online community, Higher Ed AV Media group, Higher Ed AV Awards, Prism Scholarship, Approved Program, Educational Programming, Virtual Conference, and Tradeshow Exhibiting.
The FLEXspace initiative is a large collaborative effort that started in the State University of New York and quickly spread. FLEXspace – The Flexible Learning Environments eXchange – is an innovative tool that supports a highly-engaged community of experts, decision makers, influencers, and practitioners from higher education, K-12, libraries, museums and industry committed to improve learning space planning, design and implementation. FLEXspace provides a sophisticated suite of features that allow users to document and showcase learning spaces, share resources and best practices, work collaboratively with campus colleagues and partners, and connect with an ever-expanding worldwide community. Use FLEXspace to help you plan, design, implement, maintain, assess, and improve your campus learning spaces. FLEXspace membership is free for academic users, and available to others through partnership support.