Libcc FAQ

What is Libcc?
Libcc is a virtual computing lab platform that leverages cloud computing resources to deliver a customized and adaptable computing environment for information professionals and students.  Libcc was developed using Django and Python and leverages the Amazon AWS resources to host lab machines for users.
Is Libcc free?
Libcc is in closed beta and is being used in two sections of an Information Organization course in the Fall of 2012.  The code for Libcc is open source and is hosted at github.com.  If you want to install your own instance of the virtual computing lab download the code, sign up for an Amazon AWS account and give it a try!  If you are interested in a hosted version of libcc get in touch with Dr. Erik Mitchell.
How will Libcc transform learning?
The availability of technical resources is an important element of education, particularly in library, information science, museum and archival fields.  Students and practitioners in these fields need to be able to experiment and learn by using technology that has been designed to meet their information system needs.  Libcc accomplishes this with low overhead while delivering highly customized cloud-based solutions that can be difficult to deliver in other virtual computing lab enviornments.
How much does it cost to run a virtual computer lab?
Libcc consists of two components, a lab management site developed using python/django and virtual computing resources provided by AWS.  While the lab management site must run continuously for students to be able to access their machines, each lab machine may only run for a few hours each week.  How much this costs depends on a number of factors but the lab management platform can easily be run on existing resources or via a hosting company for a few hundred dollars a year.  In the fall 2012 semester we are gathering data on student use of the lab and will have a better idea of resource cost but, assuming twelve hours of lab use per week on a small machine ($.08 per hour) it would cost 96 cents per week/per student to run a virtual lab.  Multiply that by 15 weeks and the number of students in your course and you should have a pretty good idea of cost.
Who developed libcc?
Libcc was developed by Erik Mitchell (erik at umd dot edu), an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.
I want to know more?  Are there any publications about Libcc?
More information about libcc.org is coming soon.  For now, you can check out the code at github and see how things work.

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