Fewer wires, more connections

working wirelessA large increase in wireless computing locations in academic buildings is expected to make the campus more connected.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, Campus Technology Services has added around 40 wireless computing access points to the network, bringing the total to nearly 100 around campus. Most academic and administrative buildings now accommodate wireless computing in at least some classrooms or common areas.

New wireless spaces include all classrooms in renovated Poucher and Sheldon halls; common areas on the first and second floor of Hewitt Union; second-floor classrooms in Lanigan Hall; and the first-floor lobby, technology classrooms and third-floor classrooms in Wilber Hall.

The number of locations will continue to grow, particularly in all renovated classrooms and common areas in Swetman and Park halls as well in the Campus Center.

“Increasing the number of wireless computing areas allows students to collaborate in the ad-hoc study group environment of today,” said Chief Technology Officer Mary Schoeler.

Offering more wireless computing access areas also assists students who want to do work in between classes and can stay in the campus environment.

Ownership levels of laptop computers continue to skyrocket nationally as well as among the Oswego campus community, so the increase in wireless computing spaces also aims to meet this increased demand, Schoeler said. More and more professors are putting course materials on the Web as well, she added.

The college increasingly encourages students to consider bringing or buying a portable computer to use in the learning settings of classrooms, Penfield Library or other common areas. This also reflects preparing students for a society that is becoming more and more mobile in its work and social habits.

Wireless computing locations already existed in some spaces of Johnson, King, Lanigan, Mahar, Rich and Snygg halls as well as Penfield Library and residential dining centers.

Schoeler noted that for the sake of personal security, all users—on PCs or Macs—need to download virtual private network software the first time they log into a wireless system on campus. “After that, users log into the VPN software, then open their browsers,” she said. “This encrypts all communication our users conduct through their browsers, so what they are doing remains protected and secure.”

Anyone with questions about connecting may contact the CTS Help Desk at 312-3456, visit its office in Lanigan or log onto www.oswego.edu/cts/services/wireless_computing.

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PHOTO CAPTION: No strings attached—Junior broadcasting major Steve Leeper uses wireless computer access in the English department commons area on the third floor of newly renovated Poucher Hall. The college has added around 40 wireless computing access points since the start of the fall semester.

(Posted: Feb 28, 2006)