That really happened. We watched a lab assistant send a student to a lab 5 blocks away where he knew every computer had Photoshop on it. When we talked with him later he admitted that a few computers in his lab have Photoshop installed, but he wasn’t sure which ones and didn’t know how to find out.
Lab assistants are often students and part-time workers. They take on a job that requires a wide range of technical and campus knowledge, with little training and a high turnover rate. They’re great at fixing tech issues, helping professors transfer slides to digital formats and showing students how to log onto their school emails.
However, lab assistants need more when it comes to helping students find tech resources on campus.
Here’s the problems computer lab assistants are facing:
- They don’t know what’s installed in their own spaces
- They don’t know what’s installed in other labs around campus
- They don’t know what computers are available outside of their lab
Lab assistants don’t always have the tools they need. They’re desperately trying to help students, but may end up sending them clear across campus (or across town).
Give lab assistants a tool that can help them find available computers and software around campus.
LabFind for Lab Assistants
LabFind is a mobile app that’s included in the LabStats subscription at no extra cost. Lab assistants can download the app on their phones for free, sign in with their school email and get instant access to tech resources on campus.
Lab assistants can use LabFind to show students:
- The least busy labs on campus, right now
- Labs that are open the latest
- Other labs that are nearby
- Software in their lab
- Software in other labs
- Printers, 3D printers, projectors, collaboration spaces and more
Once they find the resource they’re looking for, the lab assistant can just click “Navigate” to get walking directions for the student.
Helping Students and Themselves
A lab assistant can help a hundred students find the resources they need with the help of LabFind, but they’ll still be the point of contact for a lot of questions.
This job description for a Student Computer Lab Assistant cuts straight to the point with this required skill:
“Maintaining a good attitude when repeatedly answering the same questions to the same students.”EOSC.edu
Lab assistants can use LabFind to show students where the computer or app they need is located, and then have students download the app to find it on their own next time. The app is free to download and easy to set up, students just need a school email to log in.
If we empower lab assistants with LabFind, they can empower the students to find tech resources and get directions on their own. Everyone wins.