Feature Story

Technology 101: What Campuses Can Expect This School Year

Ron Danielson, Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer at Santa Clara University, shares his insight and expertise about what's hot this year on college campuses and what IT pros can expect.

Full Transcript:

The hottest thing right now is mobile devices and the expansion of mobility on campus.

I'm Ron Danielson, I'm Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer. I'm also an associate professor of computer engineering and I've been at Santa Clara for 36 years.

We're seeing a proliferation of devices that are connecting to our network. As an example, we have about 9,000 headcount students and about 15,000 faculty and staff who are employees, and last year we say 25,000 unique devices connect to our wireless network.

I expect to be connected all the time. My name is Maxwell Nguyen and I'm a rising sophomore at Santa Clara University.

If you don't have any online access it's almost as if you're lost. I mean, I'm not sure if that's a very bad thing that our society has come to, but at the same time, it also brings us a lot closer because we can connect to someone halfway across the world at any time, and anywhere.

Higher education institutions have been dealing with BYOD since computers first started to come onto campus. Students walk in the door with devices you have no control over what those devices are, where they got them, what the characteristics of them are, and so we've had to deal with that from the get-go.

It can be a very difficult proposition providing support for those wide range of devices.

Be prepared for expectations of instantaneous access anywhere and high bandwidth anywhere, which most of us have not designed our wireless networks to provide.

We built our first wireless network on campus about five years ago and we designed it as an overlay to the wired network, as something supplemental that would be convenient for people to use. It's now the principle mechanism that people are using to access the internet because they want to be able to walk around campus and get connections anywhere.

We're seeing huge demands for student and faculty generated video. People want to come in, record their educational experiences using video.

When you can't have a YoutTube loading, a YouTube video loading in say 20 seconds you just become impatient.

Security in a mobile environment is a huge problem. We want to maintain an open network, yet we also want to keep our data safe, and we want to be sure that the people who are using our networks are not experiencineg difficulties or encountering risks that they should be aware of.

I mean, it has the technology, we're in Silicon Valley, all these resources are everywhere.  I totally love how this whole campus has so many resources that are available to students.