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May 2004


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Sandi MacLeod <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
CIT lab news <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 14 May 2004 17:57:26 -0700
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On 4/30/04 12:14 PM, "David L. R. Houston" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Work habits of the primary use population are changing.  It is not obvious
> how best to meet changing need and interest.  One observable trend is in
> the interest in collaborative work opportunities and a chance for users to
> spell their work sessions  a break that might include some opportunities
> for social activities.  Duration of work sessions (measured by login
> data) is longer, indicating users are doing sustained projects.
> The changing nature of computing is a factor.  Users are increasingly
> social, and conflate social, technical and academic effort.  Accommodation
> of social needs is largely overlooked in similar facilities.  Providing
> workspaces conducive to academic effort, quality teaching and social
> interaction is a challenge.


Thanks for your message and thoughts about changes to the 113 lab and large
area. I have no thoughts about the changes suggested for the large lab. Many
of my students come up and work on their projects in the TFT lab and we try
to match the software they have available in the 113-T lab.

I do agree that the workhabits and usage of computer is changing. I have
many instances where students work collaboratively in class and the space is
a little cramped for that. I also frequently bemoan the lack of a large
table (like in one of the Lafayette labs where I've previously taught) so we
can get away from the computers for a portion of the class and have a
discussion or put out materials that aren't on the computer and share hard
copy documents.

Will the available software stay the same? We use imovie, iphoto, Photoshop,
Office, Mozilla, Fugu, itunes, Acrobat Reader and any webbrowser in addition
to Mozilla. I haven't been using Apple Works for the past year - just to let
you know if that's an expense issue if it doesn't come with the new

Generally the lab works well for me. I use the Smart Board technology fairly
often and require that the students use it as well. The only problem that
has plagued us recently is that students loose their internet connection.
This seems to happen when they're doing lots of surfing for resources on
either Mozilla or IE. Many times it happens when they're downloading images
to use in a curriculum project. It's such a pain because the only way I've
found to get the connection back is to do a restart and they loose
considerable class time while they wait for this.

This is a small problem and perhaps their is something that the new G5's
will fix. I'm pleased with both the software available and the upkeep.
You've always been responsive when I need something and that's greatly
appreciated by me and my students.