KPU plans to remove desktop computers from classrooms

Starting May 1, students will no longer have access to classroom computers

Starting May 1st, students will need to use alternative devices for in-class presentations. (Keet Kailey)

Starting May 1st, students will need to use alternative devices for in-class presentations. (Keet Kailey)

Earlier this month, Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced that desktop computers will be removed from classrooms to be more flexible in accommodating instructors throughout the pandemic, as faculty were given laptops to work from home.

Students were notified through email on April 11 that they may need to bring their own devices for presentations or borrow them from others. Laptops will be available through the university’s laptop rental service.

In an email statement to The Runner, interim vice president administration and chief Information officer Reza Khakbaznejad said that the pandemic has changed the understanding of being able to complete tasks in one physical location, and that the university is “rolling out a plan to enable our employees to be highly mobile.” 

When classes were in a blended format of in-person, online, and hybrid in the fall 2021 semester, Khakbaznejad said every regularized instructor had a university-issued laptop and some loanable laptops to accommodate other types of faculty. 

“To make the plan possible, it was necessary to standardize our computer options and phase out desktop computers, including those in classrooms, though a few specialist machines were retained where there was a proven education or work need for them,” Khakbaznejad wrote in the email.  

“Students are welcome to use their own device for classroom presentations, but we recognize that is not an option for everyone,” he said.

When students enter the classroom with their devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, they can be connected through the classroom’s USB Type C dock or HDMI connection to present through a classroom’s projector. 

As alternatives, other options could be presenting wirelessly from a mobile device or uploading the presentation to OneDrive to share with an instructor or classmate’s device.

Students can apply to loan a laptop weekly or for a semester through the laptop waitlist form online beginning May 9. After a student gets approved to borrow a laptop, they can pick up the computer at any of the five KPU campus libraries, and the loans are on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Before the pandemic, KPU kept an inventory of around 24 laptops for students to borrow weekly. Khabaznejad said he expects it to be the same in the summer, with more than 300 laptops for long and short-term rental and more being added later this year. 

“Over time, Library Services has extended the loan period for the smaller pool of short-term loan computers from one day to one week in response to weak demand in previous semesters and they can change the loan period again if demand changes.” 

For classrooms with computer labs like the journalism and fine arts rooms, this change won’t affect them. 

“Moving faculty to standardized laptops meant removing single PCs in lecture-style classrooms,” he said. 

“When thinking about shifting to a more mobile computing environment, the needs of students were at the heart of our decision to create a pool of hundreds of laptops that they could borrow from KPU libraries each semester.”

Students who have more questions about KPU’s laptop loan or other equipment can contact Library Services through their website for more information.