I remember in grade 3 when we were allowed to go to this new room. It was the size of a classroom, it had an air-conditioning unit (no other rooms had that), and I didn’t have to bring a pencil. The computer lab has been a standard component of schools since the mid 90s. A shift is happening now, and that computer lab is changing.
I have had the opportunity of teaching at schools that are brand new and ones that are rich in history and tradition. Some newer schools opt to skip the computer lab and those who have had one are letting go. For my school it is a space issue. With new classes being added to the school the computer lab is being converted into a classroom. This is OK with me.
As computers are redistributed into the classrooms I forced to look at how I have used the lab over the past year. Transitioning from a set time each week to an online booking system that allowed me to book it when I needed it provided some self reflection on my pedagogy. Last year I was in the lab every week for one period. This year I have probably used it under 10 times.
I really had to have a strong purpose to use the lab, and this year this was not the case. Fortunately I have access to in iPad cart (which I have utilized more this year) which I have found lends itself to the primary division. SO…what is replacing the computer lab (other then classrooms)? Tomorrow I will discuss my thoughts on this- and they include maker spaces! But for now, I am going back to the days of playing Cross Country Canada…a trucking simulator that had me turn on the wipers on my big rig as it rained, the good old days.