MLU: Mobile Lab Units
By Henry St.Julien
The Wareham School Superintendent
Office should introduce Mobile Lab
Units (MLU) for teachers of the district.
These will be given to any groups of
teachers who fulfill the application
The Superintendent with coordination
with the Technology Director will accept
a set number of the requests per year.
Technology is the future in the world of
education. It is a powerful medium that
has revolutionized many elements of
American society. It is the chief reason
for the economic growth of the 90s.
The Business world spends billions on
computer infrastructure. Schools are
following the trend, but many factors
slowing this movement.
Foremost, the technology is expensive.
To provide each student with a
computer is impossible for a working
class school district. To provide a
school with one computer lab will cost
the district a minimum of
additional cost is a staff member to
monitor the computers and precious
A school of 800 students needs many
computer labs unfortunately schools do
not have space for these computer labs.
Many computer labs are wasted
because they are used for word
processing. Typewriters would be a
As many different teachers use the
computer lab, the inevitable wear and
tear of daily use reduces the life span of
the infrastructure. The cost increases
with replacement equipment.
Computers and other technology are
simply used inefficiently. Not used to
their full potential.
Most Wareham classrooms have a lone
computer for the teacher and logistics
prevent it from being useful for a class
of 25 students. Therefore, the
technology is used for administrative
purposes not academic. Wareham is
failing to tap into the full potential of the
The Wareham technology team does
not have enough resources to maintain
and repair the equipment. Adding more
technology without any more support
will compound the problem.
Wareham does not want to be a district
acting as a cemetery of out
Provide mobile computer labs called
MLUs (Mobile Lab Units). These are
five new desktop computers on
separate mobile carts. A sixth cart will
have one printer and on projector. A
hub will combine all the carts and
connect them to the school’s network.
These units will under the direct
supervision of a small group of teachers
who will share the equipment.
The initial cost will be around $3700:
Desktops $500 each (Lap tops would
increase the total, but preferable)
This is a small fraction of the cost
of a of computer lab.
Five DeskTops or LapTops
All on separate carts
On the sixth cart
On the sixth cart
The MLUs do not need a separate
room. It could be stored in a closet or in
a teacher’s classroom. The MLUs
avoids the cost of using additional
rooms and promotes efficient use of
The MLUs will promote cooperative
learning due to the numbers of
computers. Students must work
together to accomplish the task at hand.
The MLUs will be connected to the
Internet. This tool is a powerful
research tool and gives students access
to many primary sources and other
information. The tool is also a source of
misinformation and materials not
appropriate in classrooms. With five
computers, teachers can easily monitor
The MLUs will have one printer that all
students can use. Through the network,
students will have access. This will
save money on the cost the printers.
Classroom teachers will staff the MLUs.
No additional person will be needed.
This cost cutting feature is will also
require that teachers must be educated
on how to use the equipment. They will
be responsible for repair and
MLUs promote cooperation between the
teachers. This unit may help teachers
to work together and create creative
lesson plans. As separate classrooms
promote lone teacher fatigue, the MLUs
will offset that mentality and create help
learning communities within a school.
This small group of teachers will make
sure that equipment is running well and
will prevent the wear and tear that come
with tradition computer labs. Schools
will save money because they will
purchase will replacement equipment as
teachers maintain their MLUs.
There is a form that teachers must fill
out. These forms must be filled out by a
multiple teachers (no less then three
and no more than six). A set number of
teachers must agree with a MLU charter
created by the Director of Technology
and the Superintendent.
To gain the acceptance of the
application, teachers must be will to
accept the chapter and provide a
of how the teachers will
use the technology.
The description will promote full use of
the technologies potential.
The charter simply states:
1. The participating teachers must maintain and the
equipment. This will be done through In
2. The participating teachers will require to learn how to
maintain each equipment and the network system.
3. The participating teachers within the MLUs will only
use the equipment.
4. The participating teachers will be responsible in
selecting the equipment and storage of the equipment.
Run Long Benefits
1. A technologically savvy staff
2. Reduced technology Cost
3. Students with computer
4. Efficient use of technology
5. Helpful and innovative staff