Technology Infrastructure

Many colleges and universities provide computer labs and studios for classes. The primary advantage is the certainty that each student will have a workstation with the necessary technical specifications and software installed. The primary disadvantage is that students may graduate without the tools they need to practice the skills they have learned.

Although their newsroom workstation could potentially be outfitted with the tools they need, if any of those students became freelancers, they may be out of luck if they left class without bringing along them the tools they learned in school.

Providing server space for students is a great way to begin teaching them the Unix command line and to provide resources for data-intensive projects. But several institutional concerns arise. Schools are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of student data, and so the security of student servers may become a concern. Students might instead begin by working on virtual machines using a program such as the free, cross-platform VirtualBox in order to become acquainted with running a machine from the command line.

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