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Diamond in the Rough – a Mobile Computing Program
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  1. Diamond in the Rough – a Mobile Computing Program Myra Williams Mark Miller http://www.rpi.edu/dept/arc/thinktank/thinktank2005.ppt

  2. Facets for Discussion • Overview of Mobile Computing Program • Campus involvement and partnerships • Laptop as a recruitment tool • Integration of mobile technology into the curriculum

  3. Rensselaer Overview • Educates the leaders of tomorrow for technologically based careers • Private institution founded in 1824 • 7000 students - 5000 undergraduate, 2000 graduate • 520 faculty, 1430 staff • Schools – Architecture, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Management and Technology, Science

  4. Mobile Computing Overview • Laptop required for undergraduate students • Single standard high end T-xx model including software at an excellent price • Students can purchase, lease to own, or bring own • Laptop used inside and outside of class • Over 6,000 laptops on campus • http://www.rpi.edu/laptops/

  5. Homo sapien Mobile Computing Program Evolution • 1999 Freshmen only, Emphasized lease to encourage refresh, 600E • 2000 Freshmen/Sophomores, Administrative database implemented, Security cable added to package, Increase insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000, Student involvement in backpack design begins, T20 • 2001 Freshmen/Sophomores/Juniors, De-emphasized lease, Self insured, Refurbished laptop program, T22

  6. Homo sapien golfus Evolution Continues • 2002 All undergraduates, No sales tax collected, ThinkPad Protection added, Rapid Restore with hidden partition, Laptop information in Student Information System, T30 • 2003 Rest period, T40 • 2004 Trade Up program, Request for Proposal, Lite image available, Updated all images to latest software versions, T42 • 2005 Lease to own, President’s Award, T43 Over 95% of incoming freshmen acquire the Rensselaer model

  7. Campus Support for the Program Division of the Chief Information Officer team coordinates with groups across the campus to implement the Mobile Computing Program • Students and Parents • President • Provost/Dean of Undergraduate Education • Academic Departments/Faculty • Residence Life • Enrollment Management (aka Admissions) • First Year Experience • Financial Aid

  8. Campus Support – Can’t Get Enough • Volunteers – Employees from across the campus plus students • Campus Planning and Design • Environmental and Site Services • Physical Plant • DotCIO – Banner Student Information System Networking Media Operations Campus Computer Store Rensselaer Computer Repair Help Desk

  9. Corporate Partners 1924 • IBM-Lenovo – ThinkPad • MapInfo – MapInfo • National Instruments - LabVIEW • Kelty - backpacks • Maplesoft - Maple • Mathworks - Matlab • Microsoft – Windows, Office, Visual Studio

  10. 2004 Request for Proposal • Issued RFP for Mobile Computing Program partner(more than hardware) • Vendor presentations with on-line feedback • Hands-on day for faculty (disappointing attendance) • Hands-on day for students (moderate attendance) • User feedback (strong for IBM and Apple) • Decision matrix and discussions • RFP awarded to IBM

  11. IBM-Lenovo Partnership • Troy Campus Visits Mark Cohen, Distinguished Engineer Tony Corkell, Director ThinkPad and ThinkCentre Development • Raleigh Visits – Products and roadmaps, technology futures • Logistics - Model selection, image management technologies, delivery scheduling • Account team stability • Joint research projects, speaker series, campus activities • IBM is major employer of Rensselaer graduates

  12. Recruitment Source: NERCOMP 2005 talk “The Young and the Wireless”, Young People’s Immersion In Technology by Dan Drath, VP Teenage Research Unlimited, 8 March 2005

  13. College Bound Teens (16-18) Source: NERCOMP 2005 talk “The Young and the Wireless”, Young People’s Immersion In Technology by Dan Drath, VP Teenage Research Unlimited, 8 March 2005

  14. Recruitment Experiences • Students expect to use a laptop • Program with standard models reduces parents’ anxiety • 2004 – Laptop incentive to reduce summer meltConfused parents/students, failed to reduce melt • 2005 – Laptop incentive to increase enrollmentIndicators promising but more analysis needed

  15. Academic Integration • Laptops are useful for nearly all classes • Anytime/anywhere computing and network access • Used in the classroom for some courses (depends on the instructor and material) • Students like the portability of the laptop • No information on learning impact

  16. Laptop Integrated Courses • Calculus • Physics • Introduction to Engineering Analysis • Engineering Graphics and Computer Aided Design • Freshmen Studies • Advanced Manufacturing Lab (AML) • Next Generation Studio Biology • Laboratory Introduction To Embedded Control (LITEC)

  17. Maple – Mathematics, Engineering SolidWorks – Engineering Matlab – Engineering MS Visual Studio – Computer Science Microstation – Architecture LabVIEW – Engineering, Computer Science Cygwin – Computer Science, Engineering Fall 2005 Course Software

  18. WebCT – calendar, assignments, quizzes, grades, video lectures for first three weeks DVD – contains lecture videos and example files Students work on drawings inside and outside of class using SolidWorks Pre-configuring SolidWorks saves one day of class Engineering Graphics and Computer Aided Design

  19. Teach, by experience, how to plan and execute cost-effective manufacturing operations Laptops used for designing parts (SolidWorks), for manufacturing (MasterCam), communicating with team members, writing reports, preparing presentations, creating posters No room for desktops in machining area Floppy drive required to load machines Advanced Manufacturing Lab

  20. Evolution, Genetics, Cell & Molecular Biology, Ecology Uses WebCT and the Internet extensively Laptops are required for each session On-line, pre-class session prepares student for in-class session and on-line, post-class session explores concepts and materials presented in the pre- and in-class sessions Genetics Construction Toolkit Next Generation Studio Biology

  21. Genetics Construction Toolkit

  22. Faculty can plan computer assignments and exercises knowing students have the software installed and properly configured Do not waste class time installing/configuring software in class A problem fix applies to a large segment of any class Easier for student to remove SW than to install/configure Does not solve problems caused by students installing adware, spyware, and trojans Why Such A Large Image?

  23. What’s Missing? • Adobe and Macromedia software due to licensing costs and issues • Serial port and floppy drive for external instruments • Automatic technology refresh • Consistent Faculty Mobile Computing Program • Macs for the Arts folks • Include in cost of attendance • Ship to home • Add-on devices to complement laptop

  24. Spring 2003 Student Survey • Laptops essential to course work -83% of students agreed • Laptops significantly enhanced learning –81% of students agreed • “I have loved the laptop…” • “The laptop is the devil.”

  25. Summary • Program is a success and largely taken for granted • Computing power and portability are a win for the students • Technology issues can be solved • Tough issues are not technology related – policy, budget, or third party