LabMan (still short for Academic Lab Management Conference), is a national conference for computer lab managers and other IT professionals involved in the management and support of computer labs, computer classrooms, and other technology-driven teaching/learning spaces. Held annually and usually hosted by a college or university, LabMan has become a tradition attended by a relatively small audience, usually between 150 and 300 attendees. Beyond this, LabMan has become a community of professionals who collaborate beyond the conference to discuss and troubleshoot similar issues, find solutions to shared problems, and explore innovative ideas for enhancing management of academic endpoints.
Increasingly, academic computing services provided for our students and faculty must involve the collection, analysis, and sharing of data to inform decision making. This is why the theme of LabMan 2024 is "Unlocking Efficiency through Connection and Collaboration". Our theme this years is focused on unlocking efficiency through the power of connectivity and collaboration. Through connectivity, we emphasize the pivotal role of relationships, be it between peers we work with every day, with the vendors and solutions providers we rely on, our own relationships to the technologies we manage. Through collaboration, we foster sharing of insights and experiences, diverse perspectives, and access to crucial resources. Together, these elements provide a foundation for unlocking efficiency. If want to connect and collaborate with others, both peers in your field and solutions providers who can help provide guidance and insight on how to manage of your computer labs and classrooms join us at the LabMan conference at NC State University.
The year was 2000. Computer labs were becoming more and more complex to manage, with users demanding additional application software, more CPU speed, more memory, more hard disk space, more printer paper. It was a never-ending cycle for many. A few computer lab managers got the idea to get together and talk about those issues. So that's what they did! The very first LabMan was hosted at Wayne State University as an inexpensive, informal, and friendly conference designed for people responsible for the maintenance of computer labs in colleges, universities, K-12 schools/districts, and libraries.
The conference has also focused on many topics beyond managing computer labs including wireless support, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), classroom support, innovation spaces,and print management just to name a few. While the scope of the conference remains largely focused on the core of computer lab management, there are other tracks to help provide professional from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines engage and learn new skills.
So far 21 schools have hosted LabMan all over the continental US. Here is a list of those schools from most recent to least. Some schools have hosted more than once. If you're interested in hosting LabMan at your school, please reach out to us at [email protected].
*The 2020 conference was rescheduled several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.