Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Quickly Obsolete? From Computer Lab to Design Flexibility

Posted on: March 12, 2017

The onset of technology in education coincided with my experience planning a small, but attached lab as part of a new media center in the 1980’s.  In a short while I was reorganizing and repurposing a very old media center to accommodate computer labs. In the early 2000’s my former school districts planned new media centers with multiple computer labs and workstations. The labs were heavily used; spaces were sometimes booked weeks in advance.  That was then; this is now.  The rapid implementation of 1:1 computers makes it apparent that a model that worked for 20-25 years is no longer needed.   What is happening to all of those labs and computer areas within media centers? How labs being redesigned and spaces repurposed? What design mistakes did we make in 15-20 years ago?  What still works?

I posed my question to discussion groups and received numerous thoughtful and interesting responses.  There is exciting change in place as media specialists continue to respond to and become part of change. Their responses also suggest much of the old is still good while long-standing and traditional design musts are still there as are long-standing design woes.   Other features became quickly obsolete.  An article addressing my questions and was published in Internet@Schools, March/April 2017.  Complete article: Integrating Technology Then … And Now: From Computer Lab to Design  Flexibility


First used in 2000, this lab open, u-shaped lab worked well for teaching and collaborative learning. It was easily supervised and has helpful storage.  It could become a Makerspace in 2017.



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