Supporting Mobile Devices on Campus
- By CESS Technical Support
A student enters the Technology for Teaching Lab in 541 Waterman one afternoon and sits in front of an iMac workstation. He logs in to the machine and before opening a program, he takes an iPad out of his bag and places in front of the computer’s keyboard. In one minute, there are two devices simultaneously at work as he attempts to complete an assignment. Meanwhile, a faculty member plugs her iPad into a classroom console in order to project apps from her device onto a screen.
Students in the class observe or work alongside on their own devices.
As the use of tablets, smartphones, and E-readers grows amongst faculty, staff, and students on campus, the need for good policies and support for these devices grows congruently. The NorthEast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP) held a day-long event last week dedicated to supporting this very issue. Participants from Framingham State University, Bucknell, Bowdoin, Assumption College, and Northeastern each presented hour-long sessions about their institutional experiences.
Framingham State University’s Robin Robinson and Deborah Moschella Saks shared a particularly successful iPad pilot project story. The project led to campus-wide loaning programs, user support groups, security and policy developments, and broader use of the device in coursework. Steven Blanc and Juli Haugen from Bowdoin College discussed the specifics about institutional configurations for iPads, app purchasing, and further support for faculty, staff and students. Lastly, other presenters discussed Honors College iPad pilot programs and the development of mobile friendly applications and websites.
The event, attended by two CESS technology staff, provided needed mobile-related context and experiences from other institutions. This, in turn, applies directly to the ongoing mobile implementation work in our College. Participants agreed that connections made that day would support their own work upon returning home.