|Trouble reading this? Click here.||Number 131 - May 31, 2012|
Computer Lab Closure
The Academic Technology computer labs on the ground floor of the San Marcos campus library have been closed since May 19—as has the entire Library building—for an electrical upgrade. The labs, and the Library as a whole, will reopen to the public Monday, June 4. Operating hours will be:
June 4 - June 14
Open Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
June 18 - August 12
Open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
August 13 – 17
Open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
We begin normal operating hours again for fall 2012 semester Monday August 20.
Beginning this summer semester the computers in the Academic Technology lab in room LL-109 are going to be replaced with lower-end, lower cost Dell Vostro 360 all-in-one units. The cost of the new units is slightly more than half of the standard District workstation, while being completely adequate to running all of the software in the AT lab image (actually, more than adequate). The Vostros have an Intel Core i5-2400S processor, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, integrated HD graphics, a 23” LCD widescreen (16:9 perspective) monitor, wired USB keyboards and mice (the Vostro comes standard with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but for obvious reasons this would not work in a public computer lab), and a 3-year warranty. The cost of the warranty significantly increased the cost per unit, but it was viewed as an essential expense on an untried technology.
The purchase of the Vostros was the result of testing and planning by the Technology Planning Committee, Academic Technology, and the Information Services department. We had originally proposed this project back in December, 2011, and have evaluated several all-in-one units before selecting the Dell. Funds to purchase the units came from student pay-for-print fees.
This installation is being considered an experiment, to measure the adequacy of lower cost computers in a busy lab environment, and to insure that the failure rate of this particular unit is not inordinately high. If the Vostro passes all tests, units in LL-104 will probably be replaced in summer 2013. Since these computers are expected to remain in service for at least three years, the plan is to update them to Windows 8 beginning in the spring 2013 semester.
Computer Lab Survey
Each semester, as part of our Service Area Outcomes, we survey on a
volunteer basis students who use the Academic Technology computer labs.
We ask the questions you would imagine, like rate how helpful the lab
staff is, rate our understanding of student computer needs, rate
printing in the lab, and so forth. To us the most significant question
we ask, however, is:
We feel it is very significant that 91% of student lab users rated the lab Very Helpful or Helpful in achieving their academic goals, with over half of lab users finding the lab Very Helpful.
As our computing reality moves to the post-PC, cloud-based world it is important to remember that a significant number of students rely on our fixed computer labs and associated peripherals. Many can foresee the day when colleges will provide only a network connection, in all likelihood a wireless connection, and students are expected to bring their own computing devices, but that day is still a number of years away. In the meantime we need ways to make our labs more affordable and flexible, but we should never abandon our commitment to provide the resources that students need to succeed.
New From Our Blog
News From Our Twitter Feed
Visit our web site for details, follow us to learn more: