This combination of software and hardware will enable faculty and students, from any Internet-accessible location, without the need for high bandwidth, to utilize a virtual lab environment designed to provide “hands-on” experience with a variety of computer operating systems and applications software. A large number of ICT related labs have been developed by NSF funded technology centers, enabling colleges in the region to offer both entry-level classes and incumbent worker training in ICT related areas that range from introductory computer classes to cutting edge courses that focus on information security, virtualization, big data, and network configuration and design (see list of .labs at: http://sl.sierracollege.edu/FNF-NetLabs )
A key feature of this lab environment is the ability to control access to individual lab environments (pods) through its reservation system. For on-ground classes, faculty will be able to reserve a sufficient number of pods for their students during class time. Since the lab environment is available on a 7/24 basis, students will be able to register for pod access on a first-come, first serve basis, and gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom. The lab environment is also well suited for instruction of online classes. Faculty are provided with key statistical information that includes “time on task.” Additionally, faculty can “enter” a student’s pod remotely and provide real-time assistance to the student.
Steve Linthicum is a Deputy Sector Navigator In the Information and Communications Technologies / Digital Media sector. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.