Altgeld Hall -- The Dawn of a New Century

The Instructional Technology Teaching Laboratory

Providing cutting-edge teaching tools

The Instructional Technology Classroom will enhance the learning experience for all NIU students by giving faculty, teaching assistants and staff the skills to utilize the latest in classroom technology.

That is a far cry from the room’s original use as a gymnasium where basketball hoops were considered state-of-the-art recreational equipment (the sport had been invented only eight years earlier). The relatively modest space was the birthplace of Huskie athletics, hosting women’s softball games and basketball games shortly after the building opened in 1899. The room remained the school’s primary athletic facility until the construction of Still Gym in 1928. It was used as a gymnasium for classes until the early 1960s, when the university’s printing operations took over the space.

Today, the room will be used to train faculty in the use of the latest presentation technology and other tools to enhance their classroom sessions. There they also can learn how to use online communities and other virtual tools to extend the learning experience beyond the classroom. Because of its advanced facilities, the room also can host some classes to give faculty an opportunity to test cutting-edge technology before deploying it across campus.

Before: NIU's first president had a keen interest in gymnastics, and the gym was appropriately outfitted.

The stairway on the north wall of what was the gym is original to the space. It was dismantled and restored by NIU carpenters.