Most people think of a computer lab as sterile and boring, however, decorating a computer lab can make the room fun and interesting.
There are a lot of different decorating themes you could go with in a computer lab that could still be connected to computers in some way.
One idea could be a display showing the evolution of computers and all the components, including hardware and software, that are used in the world of computers. If you can get your hands on a few old, outdated computers, you could take them apart to show some of the internal workings. Hang the components on the wall with small lights behind them. The display could include printouts with interesting facts and information about how computers work and how much they have evolved over the last 50 years or so.
Another idea is to have your students print out a world map from Google Earth in standard 8.5 x 11 tiles. This would be a great way to also help teach students more about geography.
A science theme would also go great in a computer lab. Print out some pictures from the Hubble telescope, pictures of the international space station or make a display of all the shuttle launches and Apollo moon landings. You could even contact NASA to see what educational materials they could provide. Computers play an important role in NASA's space program. You could also include pictures of some of the hundreds of satellites that orbit the Earth and the important role that computers and satellites play in much of today's technology such as cellular phone's, cable television and GPS navigation.
A creative idea is to have the students create a display of artwork that is all computer generated. Since computers can do so many creative things now days, this will not only be a fun project, you might be pleasantly surprised at how good it comes out.
Another artistic theme could be a display of how computers are used in modern movie making, especially with special-effects and CGI. The display can include movie posters of some of the most recent movies that used a lot of computer-generated imagery.
To help motivate students who may not have much of an interest in computers, you could make a display of how computers are used in the work force today. Show the importance of computers in the medical field, how they assist with criminal justice and crime scene investigations or how they are used in today's automobile industry.
For students who like to play video games, which would probably be the majority of them, you could dedicate an entire wall to the concept of how computers are used to create and design video games. This is serious business - video games are a billion dollar industry and students who choose this career field stand a good chance at having a very successful career.
Reasons for Decorating a Computer Lab
If you're thinking, why bother decorating a computer lab, there are some good arguments for going to the trouble. As mentioned before, perhaps the best reason is motivating the students. Even the term "computer lab" brings to mind a boring, sterile environment with plain white walls, harsh florescent lights and nothing but rows and rows of computers. Wouldn't it be nice to walk into a room with something interesting on the walls?
Showing students who come in to the computer lab everyday the amazing and interesting things that computers do and how important this technology is in our everyday lives will hopefully motivate and inspire them to want to work with computers.
Another argument for having something interesting on the walls in a computer lab is eye strain. Staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time can cause eye strain and headaches. Encouraging your students to look away from the screen for a few minutes from time to time is necessary. Having something pleasant or interesting on the walls will help.
All in all, your computer lab decoration will make the room more enjoyable, which will translate into productivity.