VLab program to bring updates to campus

Taisha White

After the initial rollout at Georgia Southern last year, the Information Technology department is looking into bringing updates to vLab, a virtual computer lab service full of popular software and other applications geared towards students.

VLab, which was first introduced to GS back in the Spring 2016 semester, is filled with statistical softwares created to meet the needs to students enrolled at Georgia Southern. This accessible resource contains numerous softwares including Microsoft and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Although the services mimics those of bigger colleges like UGA, vLab is the first of its kind, catering to more than one college on campus.

After its first semester run, vLab had over 26,000 logins and over 3,500 unique users, according to a records request. The college that used vLab the most on campus is the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, followed by College Of Business Administration.

Ryan Richardson, director of Enterprise Technology Solutions, spoke on how the vLab software is looking into focusing on bringing better quality services for the next semester.

“There is always room for improvement and space,” Richardson said. “What we usually do is that we pay attention to different softwares across the board and see if there are growing concerns or consistent issues that we can fix. We know that in the future, five or six new additions will be added to the software.”

Richardson also asked for students to always email IT services for any questions or suggestions on how to make vLab less difficult.

The services that will be brought to the campus are upon request from different colleges and are set to become the standard amongst other campuses.

“Additions of the software are usually added during the late spring and are usually updated and ready to go by the fall semester to meet the needs to students,” Ron Stalnaker, chief Information Officer, said. “We usually try to test out the system first before we introduce [it] to the campus.”

College students across the GS campus have taken on vLab for their own usage and have noticed how vLab has helped them with their classwork.

Mario Hernandez, senior multimedia journalism major, likes the convenience of vLab, especially for those who live outside of campus.

“I think if the updates can help the students in the long run, it would definitely work out,” Hernandez said. “I live 45 minutes away and I am not able to use the computer lab or the library when I want to. So having vLab on my computer has definitely helped me get my work done without any issues and without depending on the on campus software.”

Chantevia McDonald, senior multimedia journalism major, hopes to see the vLab system improve after using the system before.

“I think that the vLab software is convenient for all students on campus,” McDonald said. “My only hope is that with the new improvements that are soon to come, it will be easier to maintain off campus as well as on campus.”