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Wireless Networking

Back in 2003, University Business ran a cover story that asked, "Is the Tablet PC the Future of Higher Education?"

It was an exciting time, when computers were faster and more powerful than ever, and everyone was still just scratching the surface of how to interact with the internet.

On college and university campuses across the country, people were talking tablets, and students, professors, technologists, and administrators alike thought we might be witnessing the next generation of computers.

Our annual surveys provide information on the landscape of ITIT and campus policies. In 2010 we added questions on going mobile. For the category "Mobile apps are an important part of campus plans," we got a very strong response. We see this as very much driven by student expectations - an expectation, if not an entitlement.

A friend recently told me that she had deactivated her Facebook account because of security concerns. Just last month we heard that some Facebook applications, such as the extremely (yet inexplicably) popular Farmville game, were causing identifying information to be sent to advertisers without the users' consent.

This year's EduComm Conference in Las Vegas saw the launch of the EduComm Institute's CIO-CFO Summit. The one-day event, sponsored by GovConnection in partnership with Cisco, preceded EduComm's opening reception and keynote at the Mirage.

Throughout the afternoon, a select group of CIOs and CFOs from public and private, two- and four-year institutions around the country listened as industry experts examined the vital role of information technology in how the campus of the not-too-distant future will operate.

College students are big users of social media and use sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to post opinions - good and bad - about their schools. Our Web seminar panelists, Karli Grant, of Campus Management, and Fritz McDonald, of Stamats Communications, provide insights into what is happening online and how you can monitor and influence your cyberspace reputation.

Karli Grant
Senior Market Strategy Manager, Campus Management

It's 2010. Do you know where your mobile web visitors are? If your college or university hasn't managed yet to provide an online presence for this growing section of its target audience, it should probably have been named a New Year's resolution. The days where desktop computers—or even their little brothers the laptops and netbooks—were the only important devices in web town are over. The year of the mobile web has finally dawned upon us, and there is no turning back.

At Abilene Christian University in West Texas, technology managers were struggling with an outdated email system. While providing basic service, it lacked advanced functionality and was time-consuming and expensive to maintain. in addition, the full-time email administrator’s position had recently become vacant.

Kevin Roberts, chief information officer at ACU, knew it was time for a change. “We were disenchanted with our current email system,” he says, adding that the system servers were outdated, expensive to maintain, and were running out of space.

The 53-campus system includes seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges offering more than 3,500 programs to 374,000 students and 140,000 continuing career education enrollees. With campuses five to six hours apart, Karen Bergmeier, ITS project lead- er and Cisco WebExTM solution liaison, found herself traveling four to five hours two to three times each week to conduct training on the system’s proprietary software.

With Expansive views of the mighty Hudson River and a campus that consistently ranks among the nation’s most beautiful, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, offers students an idyllic setting for learning. Still, like every other school, Marist faces serious threats to its IT network, and its unique campus, with 49 buildings spread across 180 acres, posed special security challenges to its IT staff.

Thanks to an aggressive technology modernizationproject initiated by a tech-savvy administration and an energetic technology director brought in to execute the plan, PresentationCollege is quickly discovering how the right tools can attract students and help everyone work more efficiently.

The 200 or so freshmen arriving at the Aberdeen, S.D., campus this fall were required to purchase their own Acer TravelMate 2304 notebook PC. In addition to providing on-ramps to the school’s new wireless network,