Excerpted from "Can't Get to the Lab? Let the iLab Come to You!" by Lee Ridgway; IS&T Newsletter Volume 20, Number 3. January/February 2005.
For engineering and science students, hands-on experience in laboratories provides tremendous educational value. Ideally, a student lab would use state-of-the-art equipment like that found in the real world. It would also have multiples of the same equipment, so that all of the students could have timely access to the equipment and materials needed to get their lab work done. That is why educational institutions go to the expense and trouble of setting labs up for their students.
That expense - space, equipment, safety measures, maintenance, and support - is why schools usually don't have as many labs as they would like. This is where the Web comes in, as it has in so many other educational innovations over the past ten years. And this is where Prof. Jesus del Alamo, of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), comes in with iLab, an iCampus project to develop remote, online laboratories, or WebLabs. Project leaders for iLab are Prof. del Alamo and Prof. Steve Lerman, Director of the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives (CECI).
For an in-depth look at iLab, see http://icampus.mit.edu/iLabs/
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