BYOD: It’s More Than Just Laptops

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0


Some colleges and universities request or require that faculty and even students use certain laptop brands, but for the most part, campuses are the land of bring your own device (BYOD). And it’s not just laptops, either. Increasingly students prefer to use their tablet or smartphone to make presentations, which means campus AV and IT staffs have to figure out how to support those devices.

“We stock many adapters for them to connect,” said Tom Beggs, classroom support coordinator at the University of Georgia’s Center for Teaching and Learning. “We are researching for a universal wireless solution for BYOD. The biggest challenge is always funding.”

If faculty used only school-provided or certified laptops and devices, one option would be to load them with connection-manager software to facilitate connections with the Wi-Fi network or AV devices. But that’s rarely an option.

“We embed instructions in the control system interface,” Beggs says. “When an instructor chooses ‘laptop,” there are simple instructions on connections.”

Apple TV and AirPlay are two other examples of BYOD, ones that also show how faculty and student experiences at home set expectations about what they should be able to do in the classroom.

“I don’t get frustrated by that,” said Scott Tiner, Bates College assistant director for digital media, classroom technologies and event support. “They’re right. If they can do this at home so easy, why shouldn’t they be able to come here and do it?”

Another example is Skype. In a perfect world, every guest speaker or faculty job candidate would have a Polycom, Cisco or other pro videoconferencing endpoint, but they seldom do. Hence the need to support videoconferences where some users have PCs or Macs running Skype or Google Talk. One example is Drexel University, which recently began using Vidtel’s cloud-based MeetMe service to enable that interoperability.

“We have two Polycom HD units, and I don’t think either one has been used in the past year,” Tiner said. “We’ve done well over a hundred videoconferences. It’s about 98 percent Skype.”


Related

BYOD: Time to Cut the Cord?

Part of the reason why people go to college is to prepare for the real world. Case in point: bringing in your personal smartphone, tablet or laptop and expecting the AV or IT staff to be able to connect it to the room’s projector or display.

TV White Spaces: It’s More Than Wireless Mics

If your organization uses wireless mics, you’re probably familiar—maybe more than you want to be—with TV white spaces (TVWS), which are unused and lightly-used slivers of spectrum between TV channels. InfoComm and mic vendors such as Shure have plenty of white papers and other collateral for helping technology managers with issues such as FCC registration.

BYOD in Schools: Bridging or Expanding the Digital Divide?

Bring your own device (BYOD) is one of the fastest-growing trends in the enterprise and higher ed for a variety of reasons. For example, companies with a limited IT budget sometimes use BYOD to leverage the productivity benefits of the latest and greatest smartphones and tablets without having to buy them. In that sense, BYOD democratizes mobile technologies by making them available to more organizations.

Lessons Learned from Apple EdTech Deployments: Part 2

This multi-part blog series looks at how higher- and secondary-ed technology managers are accommodating faculty and student use of iPads, Apple TV, and other Apple devices in classrooms. In part 2, our panel of experts looks at durability, security, and what they’d like Apple to do to make their lives easier. Many thanks to George Saltsman, an Abilene Christian University professor who recommended the panelists.

Lessons Learned from Apple EdTech Deployments: Part 1

School districts have purchased more than 10 million iPads so far, and colleges such as Abilene Christian University have been using iOS devices for five years or more. All of those deployments add up to plenty of opportunities for schools that haven’t deployed Apple gear to learn what to expect.

Are College Students Willing to Pay More for Faster Wi-Fi?

In theory, the aggressive rollout of fourth-generation (4G) cellular should lighten the load for overburdened campus Wi-Fi networks. After all, Long Term Evolution (LTE) — the most widely used 4G technology — delivers average speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 35 Mbps, which makes a congested Wi-Fi network feel pokey by comparison.