St. Norbert College reinvents the modern computer lab
- Inside Higher Ed profiles the "computerless" computer lab at St. Norbert's College in Wisconsin, where students bring their own laptops and smart devices to connect for school work and studying.
- The lab is a result of a campus-wide survey showing that 98% of students bring their own computers to campus, and the school offers a laptop scholarship program for students who cannot afford one even with financial aid reimbursement funds.
- The 'Bring Your Own Device' policy closely monitors initiative found in secondary education, where students are introduced to new personal technologies which, mostly, are owned by the students and households.
While this initiative appears to be innovative and cost-effective for institutions, it suggests a lot about the kind of student St. Norbert typically admits, and how low-income students might have trouble trying to find a place in the school's technology program.
It is true that this kind of initiative saves money, earns good press and helps students to enjoy the campus experience in a unique way. But it also can cause major stress to the university's IT staff with networking and data security concerns and inaccessibility for some students who cannot afford necessary devices for specific majors requiring frequent usage beyond writing papers or research.
- Inside Higher Ed The ‘Computerless’ Computer Lab