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Computer Labs Get Rebooted as Lounges

Prakken Publications
ED041003
$2.95

Colleges are looking for ways to cut costs, and most students now own laptops. As a result, many campus technology leaders are taking a hard look at those brightly lit rooms with rows of networked computers, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain. More than 11% of colleges and universities are phasing out computer labs or plan to do so. Institutions agree that computer labs, much like student centers and libraries before them, are due for an extreme makeover. New spaces might be lounges filled with modular furniture and plasma televisions; virtual labs that give remote laptops access to software; or better computer rooms with state-of-the-art machines and pleasing architecture that can act as de facto student centers. Martin Ringle, chief technology officer at Reed College, argues that computer labs may go away, but because students have a natural instinct to gather, to sit together, to play together, to compute together, and communicate together, some form of lab will exist tomorrow. In this article, the author talks about new gathering places for laptop users that may help colleges reduce expenses.

This item is categorized under: School Organization/Management