[K12OSN] Computer lab needed in Elementary school?

Burke Almquist burke at thealmquists.net
Thu May 5 23:53:51 UTC 2011

On May 5, 2011, at 12:33 PM, Joseph Bishay wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> We are in the process of building a new elementary school, and one of
> the education consultants who specializes in elementary schools has
> told us that "modern" elementary schools do not have a need for a
> computer lab.  In fact, we were told that our planned computer lab is
> detrimental for the school's image and reputation as it is "old
> fashion".
> To be honest I was very shocked.  While both of us agree that there
> should be some computers in each of the classrooms, not having a
> dedicated computer lab to me is surprising.  In Ontario there is no
> specific curriculum for computers in elementary school but I know that
> in my elementary school we did have a lab and used it extensively!
> I wanted feedback from those of you in education as to what you think.
> This does affect our planning and budget greatly so I appreciate your
> feedback.

Scattering a couple PCs in each room is great, but sometimes you need a 1 to 1 ratio achieved by a computer lab or a cart of laptops that can be checked out. One is not a substitute for the other, you really need a mix of both. 

In my experience, labs are cheeps than portable carts because desktops are cheeper to buy, less likely to break, easier to repair, and you reduce the amount of electrical and network wiring you need to run to each classroom. The advantage of portable carts is they are space efficient (no separate lab room), and they are more convenient than shuttling students to and from the lab. 

> Thank you
> Joseph
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