Sunday, September 21, 2008

Media Lab Versus Classroom

Ah, the student media lab. Originally intended as an interactive classroom for those who work on the Lee Clarion and Vindagua, the lab has held more and more communications and telecommunications classes in recent years as the Communication and the Arts department runs out of classroom space.

Of the many classes that make the "fish bowl" their home, desktop publishing class students are typically the ones most in need of the beautiful Apple computers in the lab at all hours of the day.

Now, this is problematic.

First of all, the lab remains locked outside of classroom hours, which is precisely when these students need access to specific software to use for hours on end while completing their homework assignments.

Depending on access to a typically locked room so that homework can be done in time is downright disastrous. The university needs to have other classrooms, or at least a dedicated Mac multimedia lab or two for these students and classes.

People walk through the current lab all the time for access to the publications lab behind it, thus partially disrupting classes. If the PCSU had been built as originally designed, that wouldn't be a difficulty because of a door from the hall directly to the back room.

Another difficulty is scanning. Desktop publishing students, as well as other students, need easy access to a scanner because it's a tool they use frequently. How can a classroom for creative digital arts survive without a $99 scanner? Beats me.

It seems that until there's a dedicated lab for creative students, the fish bowl will have to suffice. Until then... Go fish.

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