Practice Labs was selected as the winning vendor for the California Community Colleges’ Strong Workforce Program
Practice Labs, a UK company, founded over 10 years ago, has been providing hands-on, live-labs to the education sector in the US since inception and has established long-standing relationships with schools, colleges and universities.
In May 2018, Practice Labs was selected as the winning vendor for California Community Colleges’ Strong Workforce Program, which was set up to increase enrollment and facilitate greater engagement and course completions. The project brought together stakeholders in the region to bring cloud-based labs to eight community colleges through design by the regional director of Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Media in collaboration with SynED and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s new Digital Transformation Hub.
Traditionally, students have practised IT skills at a centralised physical lab (and equipment) or a limited virtual lab appliance at their educational institution. Physical labs and college-based data centres have high costs associated with the maintenance and repair of the hardware and software. Further, the cost limitations for a physical lab and college-based data centre should include personnel, electricity, and other physical environmental costs.
Outcomes discussed in this case study include how Practice Labs saves time for teachers in managing their classes and grading students’ work. Live Practice Labs can provide more real-world experience than physical labs due to the changing nature of IT work. Schools and colleges can also save money by eliminating the need to purchase, setup and maintain IT hardware and software.