By Peter Cardoso, Teaching and Learning with Technology communications intern
Penn State’s Classroom and Lab Computing (CLC) is striving to provide the best technological resources to every student and faculty member. With more than fifty CLC computer labs scattered throughout University Park’s campus, those in need of these resources never have to go too far to utilize a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine.
Potential users can even check online to see how many and which platforms are available at each lab at https://clc.its.psu.edu/ca/CurrentLabuse.aspx.
CLC computer labs serve people in every imaginable situation. These can include those whose computer is temporarily out of commission to those who need to get out of their room to do school work to those who do not have the funds to purchase a computer of their own. The CLC labs offer extremely accommodating hours to
service students in these situations, with some of the locations open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
“I can’t count the number of times I’ve pulled all-nighters in the computer lab during the last four years,” says Ashley Purnell, senior, political science. “I have trouble getting work done at my apartment, so the lab is my home during crunch time.”
With 315 applications available on Mac and 176 on Windows computers around campus, Penn Staters are given a plethora of software choices to complete their work. “In the four years I’ve been here, I’ve never run into any issues with software accessibility. I feel like Penn State’s done a great job with keeping every major covered in that regard,” says Chris Wulderk, senior, engineering.
With over 160 majors to satisfy, it is no wonder there is more than 500 applications available via
the three operating systems on CLC lab computers. Maintaining all of these programs certainly comes with a price, but with students bearing the weight of tuition and book costs, it is important that vital and often expensive software programs be made available to them through the University.
If a student or faculty member happens to discover a necessary program that Penn State does not provide, there is a software request form available at http://clc.its.psu.edu/labs, making it easy to acquire essential software.
Every computer in the labs on campus have access to the PASS and UDrive databases where students can save their work to and access from anywhere, even at home. It serves as a good alternative to simply using a flash drive which can easily be lost or damaged.
CLC labs also provide students with superb printing resources. This is something that may go under the radar, but is essential to Penn State students, most of whom do not own a printer. “I use the labs primarily for printing purposes,” says Samantha Pearson, junior, English. “It’s nice that Penn State gives us 100 pages, and
it’s pretty cheap to purchase additional pages with LionCash.”
You will be hard-pressed to find a time in a CLC lab when there is not one or two students huddled around the printer for a short time before snatching their work and moving on with their day. Large formatting printers are also available at select locations, which give students the opportunity to create materials for presentation or
promotional purposes on a large, vibrant scale.
Another great resource in regards to presentations and group work are Learning Spaces, available in six of the CLC labs on campus. These spaces foster group study by offering large, comfortable areas for teams to meet, equipped with cutting edge technologies designed to help students expertly and efficiently complete their
project. For more information, visit http://clc.its.psu.edu/learningspaces.
Scanners are available at most every lab, something the vast majority of college students do not own, but often need. These scanners act as a great resource for digitalizing original materials for your own records, or for the purpose of passing them on to others. For those unfamiliar with how to utilize the scanner, or any other
piece of technology, lab consultants are always available to lend a helping hand.
“I’m very grateful for the technology resources that Penn State provides,” says Matt Mosca, senior, engineering. “But not just that, it’s the overall environment in the labs. They’ve made it a very comfortable place to get work done, and it’s always bustling with activity. There’s a real sense of progress being made when
working in there, something I’ve come to feed off of.”
Walk into any CLC lab and you will see what Matt is talking about. For more information on CLC labs,
please go to http://clc.its.psu.edu/labs.