OIT strengthens campus technologies for fall

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BYU students can look forward to several technological improvements on campus as fall semester starts.

Students no longer need worry about the wireless network being flooded, a common inconvenience at the beginning of the school year. According to Brad Stone, managing director of infrastructure at the Office of Information Technology, the capacity of network servers is being significantly increased to handle the rush of returning students.

Connecting to the BYU wireless network is also faster now that devices no longer have to register manually every time a user wants to log in. Procedures are in place to enable laptops, tablets and mobile devices to log in automatically after initial registration.

Also reducing login time is the elimination of scanning computers that connect to the BYU network. In the past, personal computers had to be scanned prior to login to make sure virus protection software on the user’s computer was up to date, which would take up to several minutes.

“It’s become less and less useful over the years as people use a wide variety of devices,” said Todd Berrett, director of server and storage solutions.

Instead, OIT has taken precautions to watch for infected machines and block them from infecting others, speeding up processing time and increasing user satisfaction.

“Since the elimination of scanning, login times have been drastically faster and we have received a number of positive comments about the change,” Stone said.

Classroom technology is also getting a tuneup. According to Relia Smith, OIT product manager, 125 TEC (Technology Enhanced Classroom) systems have been upgraded and another 395 are in the process of being upgraded as of the end of July.  This number includes both TEC Rooms and rooms with MMCs (Multimedia Cabinets).

“TEC systems on campus are being upgraded to include HDMI input, wide-screen resolution, new 24-inch wide-screen monitors, new higher resolution projectors and improved control systems,” Smith said.

Another update is the beta version of myBYU, which will become the only version on Sept. 30. This new version was designed with a tabs feature to enable students to add, move or minimize content for easier personalization. The beta version offers more content, accessible through any of the 123 added portlets.

The BYU Mobile App Suite is being tweaked to include a few new features as well. Not only have the look, feel and flow of the mobile app been improved, but a mobile version of the BYU Learning Suite will be available through the app upon its release this fall. Android users can now enjoy the same version of the mobile app that iPhone and iPad users do.

According to the BYU OIT website, students can use the mobile app for a variety of purposes, including to “see campus webcams, browse for courses, view their grades, register wireless devices, search for people and find other resources on an interactive map.”

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