WWU Improves Computer Technology
|12/1/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
William Woods University has improved computer access for students by installing virtual computers in labs across campus.
Jim Long, director of University Information Technologies, said, “Virtual computers in labs allow us to deliver a better product to students and really make computing on campus a lot easier.”
In addition to making computer access more convenient, the new setup saves the university thousands of dollars in update and operating costs.
In May the UIT department installed 68 thin client devices on campus. A thin client is a computer that depends on its server to fulfill its traditional computational roles. Using thin clients eliminates the bulk of memory, CPU and a hard drive on individual lab devices. The thin clients allow users to virtually access any lab software and its programs from another lab on campus.
The new system will save the university about $4,000 annually in power and electricity. Using thin clients cuts repair and operating costs to approximately one-tenth of the old system.
UIT also upgraded the Internet from a 20 MB connection to a 100 MB connection, significantly improving the speed of downloading, web browsing, gaming and watching videos online. A portion of the Internet capability is reserved for faculty members, which is useful in the classroom for showing videos and uploading presentations.
The technology William Woods has installed is competitive with larger universities across the country and will serve as a base for future extensions and improvements.
“The updates we did in this regard were primarily for the lab infrastructure,” Long said. “The goal was to provide a better lab experience to the students and make it more convenient. Now that we have finished this part of the upgrade, we have the infrastructure to do more in coming semesters.”
He added, “We are one of three universities in the state deploying virtual labs at this level, so it puts us on the forefront of technology developments.”
In other technology news, the Help Desk has expanded its hours and will now be open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. The Help Desk also has opened a free repair service for personal computers of on-campus WWU faculty and staff. Long said this was done for several reasons:
- To provide a service to the faculty and staff. If this goes well, we would like to extend this service to students,
- To take advantage of the “down time” for work-study students and give them more constructive things to do. This makes them more valuable to the university and
- To provide more training for the students and give them additional working knowledge within IT.
“We believe this will help them with skills beyond the university (like critical thinking and problem solving) and improve their resume,” Long said.CUTLINE:
Steven Goodson, network & telecommunications administrator