College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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A DEVICE IN EVERY POCKET overall network. The same goes for security. If a smart phone or tablet is lost or stolen, the college's IT department can remotely lock and wipe the device, rendering all of the information on it untouchable. Quinnipiac University in Connecticut consists of three campuses where more than 8,000 students attend class. Currently, the college is supporting more than 20,000 devices consisting of Kindles, Roku, Xbox, PlayStations, Linux, UNIX, and even Windows 98 computers. Brian Kelly, Quinnipiac's director of Network Operations and Information Security, oversees an Aruba Networks system that supports multiple operating systems and devices. He says, "We have a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) model and users are granted access to resources based on who they are (student, faculty, staff, and IT administrator). The ability of Aruba to detect and fi ngerprint the operating system for each device adds a layer of security in that we can grant access differently depending on what device that user is using. At a basic operational level, Aruba is device agnostic and supports the BYOD concept so users can connect almost any device to our wireless network and it works." A Multitude of Benefits Gone are the days when students lugged bulky, heavy textbooks from dorm rooms to the classroom. Technology has provided better convenience, letting students and professors leverage their information from other sources. Textbooks, documents, classroom presentations, and other materials can be kept on devices and accessed at any time. Dennis J. Cromwell is associate vice president, Enterprise Infrastructure at Indiana University, which consists of eight campuses and 110,000 students. He has seen how technology has provided more possibilities in learning for students. 70 Cromwell says, "When you match the BYOD explosion with almost universal use of the learning management platform and a growing number of e-text options, it becomes essential to support a wide array of devices using the network efficiently. It gives students multiple options and enables technology to support teaching and learning." At Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, an estimated 12,000 students are enrolled annually. Daily peak concurrent usage is about 10,000 devices. Phillip Hernandez, wireless network engineer at Liberty, has witnessed a multitude of benefits since implementing a BYOD network. Students are enjoying convenience because they can study in multiple locations yet still access the same information from wherever they are. Learning has become more convenient overall. He says, "BYOD is no longer an option on campuses. This generation of students expects it." Doug Louie from Smith Micro points to the fact that students are not the only ones who can reap the benefits from BYOD. Professors, too, have more options in terms of their lesson plans. "Educators can find new and updated materials online, information that is more up-to-date than what is in a textbook. Plus, there are other forms of media in terms of videos that can be used as part of the course material," he adds. Not only is BYOD technology helpful in the academic setting, but it also allows for students to enjoy their downtime, too. College dorm rooms are filled with the latest technology, from gaming consoles like Xbox to Apple TVs. The BYOD network enables students to connect all of their devices and ensure that data traffic on them is safe. Gerard Festa at Aruba Networks reports that a BYOD network is more than just beneficial in terms of the academic and entertainment sense. BYOD offers benefits to campus security personnel, COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MARCH 2013 public safety officers, and the facilities staff. These individuals are able to use their smart phones at any location, so if a crisis arises, the situation can be resolved quickly and with minimal impact. In addition, Festa says, "The influx of mobile devices presents a significant opportunity for universities to reduce opex and capex by eliminating the port-per-pillow economics in dorm rooms with a highdensity, multimedia-grade WiFi network." Keeping It Simple Since each student shows up on campus with more than one device, the general thought is that managing all of these gadgets will be a tedious process, but Sameer Kanagala from Motorola reports that this should never be the case. "A BYOD system should be both scalable and sustainable," he says. "The number of devices on campuses will continue to grow as new products come to market, but you cannot have a college's IT staff weighed down by managing these devices. Instead, it should not matter how many students and devices are being supported." Kanagala points out that a BYOD system must have the capability to "manage a variety of unmanaged devices." That means that the network supports different devices on different operating systems. IT has evolved greatly over the years, and it's anyone's guess what the next big technological advance to show up on college campuses will be. One thing that most experts can agree on, however, is that the bring-your-own-device trend is here to stay. The only expected change will be the up-and-coming products that collegiate networks will support in the future. CPM Karen Spring has been a technical writer and senior editor for an IT publishing and consulting firm. Ms. Spring also contributes to a weekly newsletter that highlights network and Internet security topics. WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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