There are currently a number of dedicated “computer labs” in the District:
We see the “lab model” as a continuing part of our program with less emphasis on skill-based approaches that has been the model used in the past. Some labs at VHS have been funded by Vocational Funds but with changes in state funding fewer dollars will be available to upgrade them. Technology funds will need to be used to keep these labs within acceptable standards of performance. One lab run by Joel Walters requires high performance computers that must be kept within a 3-4 replacement cycle.
The CES Lab is already 6 years old and must be upgraded within the next two years. McM lab is four years old. Smaller labs and classrooms with large numbers of computers will need upgrading at some future date. Most classroom computers will be “thin clients” and can use older systems that no longer function well as standalone computers allowing us to extend the useful life of these systems. For instance, we could use the CES lab computers as thin clients and extend their life another 2-4 years (we have thin clients built on circa 1998 computers in use in the VHS library). When monitors need replacing they will be replaced with more energy efficient LCDs
The lab model is still viable and will continue to be used. Smaller mini-classroom labs will be more the norm and will grow in numbers. Since these deployments will primarily be thin clients using open-source software we expect keep our initial and ongoing cost low compared to labs with standalone systems.