Main Nav

Colleagues, This is for anyone who has a role in managing computer labs in higher education. Please pass this on to anyone not on this list who is a computer lab manager in higher education. As a followup to a previous conversation here, I'm looking for insights on the impact of food & drink in computer labs and I would appreciate if would take the following survey: http://col.st/GOaKof Thanks, Dan -- _____________________.oOo.______________________ Dan Herrick, Client Services Manager Engineering Network Services Colorado State University E-mail: dan.herrick@colostate.edu Phone: 970-491-3131 Fax: 970-491-5569 The three most useless words in computer technology: 'It should work'. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

We have a new Liberal Arts building that is currently in construction. The floor plans aren't quite nailed down yet but there was something on the current plans that made me wonder. There's no less than six computer labs in the building. Seeing that we make all of our Freshmen buy iPads and that laptops are super cheap nowadays, I was wondering just how useful computer labs are now/will be in the next two years or so. Getting rid of most or all of those labs would cut down on costs considerably. I've heard of some colleges dumping computer labs as they seem to be needed less and less as users have more and more tech available cheaply. What's your take? Regards, Eric Barnett Senior Network Engineer/Wireless Administrator Information and Technology Services Arkansas State University (870) 680-4243 http://wireless.astate.edu
On Aug 21, 2013, at 15:56 , "Eric T. Barnett" wrote: > > I was wondering just how useful computer labs are now/will be in the next two years or so. Getting rid of most or all of those labs would cut down on costs considerably. I've heard of some colleges dumping computer labs as they seem to be needed less and less as users have more and more tech available cheaply. What's your take? We definitely have fewer computer labs on campus than we used to. Even for some applications that traditionally required high horsepower computers run fine on today's laptops. Generally labs now are not run by central IT so much as by individual schools and departments that have specialized needs. Sometimes the need for a lab is driven not by specialized hardware needs but by software licensing restrictions. -- Julian Y. Koh Acting Associate Director, Telecommunications and Network Services Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) 2001 Sheridan Road #G-166 Evanston, IL 60208 847-467-5780 NUIT Web Site: PGP Public Key: ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Here at Temple University we centralized computer labs. We used to have countless small labs in each School or College scattered across our campuses. We opened a 700 computer lab with all software and access for all majors and shutdown nearly all of those smaller labs. http://www.temple.edu/cs/techcenter/ There are certain specialty rooms (recording booths or the video production room), but the bulk of the lab enables all majors to come and work together. Last I heard a statistic it was pumping through ~8,000 students a day. We do network maintenance at midnight and the lab is still packed at that hour. It's as much a social gathering place as a place of study with several break out rooms for collaboration. I think it's pretty awesome. By all measures here, it has been wildly successful. Adam
We're doing a fair amount of application virtualization so students can access many of those licensed applications from their laptops (or other mobile devices) without needing to come to a physical computer lab. Joe Rogers University of South Florida On 08/21/2013 05:06 PM, Julian Y Koh wrote: > On Aug 21, 2013, at 15:56 , "Eric T. Barnett" > wrote: >> I was wondering just how useful computer labs are now/will be in the next two years or so. Getting rid of most or all of those labs would cut down on costs considerably. I've heard of some colleges dumping computer labs as they seem to be needed less and less as users have more and more tech available cheaply. What's your take? > We definitely have fewer computer labs on campus than we used to. Even for some applications that traditionally required high horsepower computers run fine on today's laptops. Generally labs now are not run by central IT so much as by individual schools and departments that have specialized needs. Sometimes the need for a lab is driven not by specialized hardware needs but by software licensing restrictions. > > ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
At Old Dominion University (my previous employer) we went to a combination of a few central labs, a virtual computer lab, and a learning commons area. The students really embraced the learning commons which included configurable furniture with power outlets, group meeting rooms with TVs/projectors, printers that were accessible wirelessly, as well as some computer stations. Most students opted to just bring their own laptops or tablets and then used our power, wi-fi, printers, and tvs/monitors and were very happy with the setup. In most of the new academic buildings going up rather than providing dedicated labs the decision was made to offer more learning commons spaces. I really see this as the future of the university computer lab -- offering an comfortable area for students to work on their own laptops/tablets while being able to utilize university resources and meeting spaces. http://www.odu.edu/learningcommons/ Josh Robertson Sr. Wireless Engineer / InfoSecurity Admin Denver Public Schools Department of Technology Services (720)423-3675 To open a new support call, please call the DoTS Hotline at 720-423-3888
Message from dannyeaton@rice.edu

I had a group of first year students over for a hosted dinner tonight, and actually brought this subject up to them, as well as the upperclassman advisors. Every one of them felt the labs were valuable (or would be, for the first years), in that there are many software packages that are licensed to the university, but cost prohibitive for the students (matlab, etc). They felt the labs in the residential colleges, plus a few others around our Rice campus, were a very valuable resource, used by most of the students at some point, and appreciated.
In a day when all students have a computer, we're still providing plenty of labs. Students want them because, "we know the college computers will work when we need to write a paper." It's almost like they treat their PCs like disposable burners or something :-) 

           
Rand
 
Rand P. Hall
Director, Network Services                 askIT!
Merrimack College
978-837-3532

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions. – Einstein


Message from jcoehoorn@york.edu

Labs aren't going away entirely, but the last time we renovated a lab space we didn't put in any computers. We added tables with power modules in the surface for kids to plug in their own laptops, and printers connected via a PaperCut page where students can upload documents to print. The students absolutely love this.  I'm hoping to add a terminal services install to set up a "virtual lab" that will allow students using these spaces to have access to college-specific applications. I see us adding more spaces like this in the future.


Joel Coehoorn
Director of Information Technology
York College, Nebraska
402.363.5603
jcoehoorn@york.edu

 

The mission of York College is to transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family, and society



This is great! Please keep up with the information!

 

To sum up, it looks like the idea of no computer labs at all is a bit ahead of its time still.

 

Thanks for the information.

 

 

Eric Barnett

Senior Network Engineer/Wireless Administrator

Information and Technology Services

Arkansas State University

(870) 680-4243

http://wireless.astate.edu

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Wireless Issues Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Coehoorn, Joel
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 9:21 AM
To: WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [WIRELESS-LAN] [Off-Topic] Computer Labs

 

Labs aren't going away entirely, but the last time we renovated a lab space we didn't put in any computers. We added tables with power modules in the surface for kids to plug in their own laptops, and printers connected via a PaperCut page where students can upload documents to print. The students absolutely love this.  I'm hoping to add a terminal services install to set up a "virtual lab" that will allow students using these spaces to have access to college-specific applications. I see us adding more spaces like this in the future.


 

Joel Coehoorn
Director of Information Technology
York College, Nebraska
402.363.5603
jcoehoorn@york.edu

 

The mission of York College is to transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family, and society

 

Message from me@mpking.com

On the same vein, Has anyone tried zero clients and VDI infrastructure instead of computers in a renovation?


Our labs are run by departmental staff, and several of them have moved to  the zero client / VDI model (with the vmware deployment centrally managed) in the last 12 – 18 months. I only know of one department that tried to get rid of their labs and just provide network & power connections. They ran like that for several years and were one of the first VDI lab deployments we put in. So far everyone seems pretty happy with it. The departmental guys are just happy they don’t have to ghost their labs at the end of every semester.

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE Wireless Issues Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Mike King
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 10:10 AM
To: WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [WIRELESS-LAN] [Off-Topic] Computer Labs

 

On the same vein, Has anyone tried zero clients and VDI infrastructure instead of computers in a renovation?

 

Close
Close


Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
Register Now!

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.