http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/blog_landing/public/confessions_of_a_community_college_dean_blog_header.jpg?itok=rd4sr8khBy Matt Reed. Apparently, this is turning into “begging for ideas” week. Please forgive the dreadful manners. I know juuuuuust enough about IT to be dangerous. I recently heard an IT idea that strikes me as obviously great, but experience has taught me that ideas that look obviously great at first blush can hide great sins among the details. So I’m hoping that some folks who have been through this can shed some light. The idea is “virtualization,” and my bowdlerized understanding of it is as follows. In traditional on-campus computer labs, every computer has its own CPU and performs its own calculations and processes. The computers are networked to each other and to the internet, for obvious reasons, but each is capable of doing some pretty serious internal processing. If you want to run a program on all of the computers in a lab, you have to install it on each computer individually.  Although much of what computers do is online now, we still pay for and maintain all those separate computer brains within each station. Read more...