SHS Link Lab to undergo renovations over summer 2016

Stevenson’s Link Lab will be renovated in 2016. The goal is for the space to become a “Digital ILC” of sorts.

According to Mark Michelini, Assistant Superintendent for Business, the renovations will better meet the needs of SHS students—and their iPads.

“We no longer need computer labs,” Michelini said. “Today, the biggest challenge is finding a way to power 4,000 machines.”

Currently, all SHS students have access to the SMARTdesk, where district technology staff is available to provide technical support on a daily basis.

According to Michelini, space in the lab is limited and often leads to long lines of students who need iPad help. With the upcoming renovations, the lab staff will be able to maximize their output and efficiency, Michelini said.

“If we had a single centralized hub for technical assistance, we could help 20 plus students at a time,” Michelini said. “We’ve been looking into the ‘genius-bar’ design that Apple Stores are known for.”

Though most of the renovation plans are still in their early stages, Michelini said that school officials have some idea as to what the changes will look like. Possibilities include a new “genius-bar” SMARTdesk, fully-functional classrooms in place of lesser-used computer labs, charging stations and ample space for students to relax and hang out.

Of course, some of the Link Lab’s computers will need to remain fully intact, according to Doug Kahler, Director of Information Services.

“We’ll still have a couple purpose-built labs inside the Link for classes like Computer Applications,” Kahler said. “The goal is to simultaneously support our students’ iPads and provide them with space to enjoy and engage in.”

Since the school’s implementation of iPads, the Link Lab has been an integral part of Stevenson student success, Kahler said. Both Kahler and Michelini are looking forward to the changes brought by the upcoming renovations.

“Technology has changed the way we get an education,” Michelini said. “Stevenson needs to adapt if we want to keep up.”