Talking with the University of Aberdeen, they thought that hey had one of the biggest student wireless networks in Europe. There to allow their students to connect to the VLE and the Internet, wherever they are on campus – from their own laptops. The drive to provide ever-improving services to students has been on for a while, and continues to accelerate. Looking outside the UK is often useful – the demand-led, student-as-a-customer mindset has been around on US campuses for years longer than here.
There’s no doubt that there are increasing expectations from students about the connectivity and services you’ll offer them through your ICT services (I read that Nottingham University are just about to experiment with WiMax), and if it isn’t already, it’s likely to end up on your IT development plan.
Whilst searching for something else, I came across the La Trobe University case study from Australia, where they have implemented Network Access Protection, a feature of Windows Server 2008, to detect and manage the health of systems connecting to their network – including Windows, Linux and Apple computers. And that allows them to safely manage student laptops connecting to their network. If you’re interested in the subject, you may want to read their case study, or better still, watch the video
You can read their full case study here, and read more about Network Access Protection (NAP) here
That is kind of cool. But I would like to know the pros and cons of such service or activity to the students. Will that give them more help to focus on their studies? Or will that give them more freedom not to listen to their professors anyway they can just browse the Internet? Also, will this provide safe Internet surfing? Is access limited?