Most modern schools at any level now have computer labs to help students learn how to use technology. In many cases a lab teacher has an aide who performs the various tasks necessary to keep the computers running and assist students in their projects. A lab teacher’s aide performs a valuable role in freeing up the teacher to present material in an understandable way. Sometimes lab teacher’s aides are also called computer lab monitors.
Install and Update Software
Software vendors are almost continuously updating their software. They may be fixing bugs, adding features or closing security exposures in software. Some updates include all of these, and someone has to perform the task of updating the lab computers. The lab teacher’s aide is typically responsible for managing software updates on the lab computers, ensuring that they are full-featured and secure.
A lab teacher’s aide often has to help students with various lab projects. If the student has to write a paper using a particular word processor, or simulate a business process with a spreadsheet application, the aide is there to help when the student gets stuck. Of course, the teacher should not help with the project content, just the technology part of it.
As students use the computers in a lab the disk drives become slower. This is due to many things, such as temporary Internet files taking up space, other files being added, new software updates and so on. A good teacher’s aide periodically removes unnecessary files from the drive and runs the defragmentation utility. This process relocates the data on the disk into a more efficient format so that the computers perform better.
While the lab teacher’s aide must be proficient with computers, she likely will not be able to handle all problems in the lab. If a drive needs to be replaced, or a keyboard or monitor goes bad, the aide will likely report the problem to the school’s information technology help desk. When a technician comes out to fix the problem, the aide will interact with the technician, providing all necessary information and ensuring the computer works when the technician is finished.
Alan Hughes has more than 30 years of experience in IT including mainframes, programming, client/server, networks, project management, security, disaster recovery, information systems and hardware. He holds a master's degree in applied computer science and several certifications. He currently teaches information technology at the university level.