It has been suggested in our college, we now consider only purchasing laptops for labs, students and employees. This has been in response to COVID-19 and how our assets like iMacs are locked down in labs, not able to be used. How are others dealing with this new reality?
My suggestion initially would be to go with lower end MacBook Air's to save up front money. Then we use an external monitor, keyboard and mouse connected to a mini dock. These would stay locked down in the labs and if another wave comes sweep through, we can disconnect and distribute as needed.
Thoughts, comments or suggestions would be more than helpful. Thank you.
Consider the idea of eliminating the idea of a traditional computer lab entirely. For one, I find that there are very, very few students that aren't coming to college with their own laptops, which makes the traditional computer lab somewhat redundant. Additionally, a traditional computer lab usually has a very static layout that doesn't lend itself well to a dynamic, more collaborative learning environment.
Consider taking the money you would have normally used to buy or lease computers for a lab, and do things like purchasing student use licenses that they can install onto their own computers. Other apps that don't have student use licenses could be delivered through something like Citrix.
You could also purchase a laptop checkout kiosk (laptop "vending machine") and a smaller number of checkout laptops for those students that don't have a working laptop.
Once you eliminate the computers from the computer lab, you could restructure the space with more soft-seating, or some collaboration "pods."