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What Happened to the Computer Lab?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Abstract

Over 80 percent of respondents to the annual ECAR study of undergraduate students report owning laptops, yet usage of expensive public computer labs remains high. Although computer labs might still be necessary, one can’t help but feel that traditional labs are anachronistic in a world of wireless connectivity, iPods, and smart phones. Labs are expensive to equip, staff, and maintain, and often the layout maximizes the amount of equipment that can be put into a given space rather than the creation of a comfortable or stimulating learning environment.

Rather than predicting an entirely new model, this presentation will focus on low-cost changes that can be made to the design, layout, and operation of existing computer labs to meet both the changing needs of students and the necessities of the economic recession.

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