Upgrades to UH Hilo’s technology infrastructure
One of the goals stated in our Draft Strategic Plan is to upgrade University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s technology infrastructure including computer laboratories and classrooms, wireless broadband across all areas of the campus, and new technologies to better support student learning, teaching effectiveness, and research.
I am pleased to report that over the summer we have been upgrading our wireless system resulting in an overall increase in coverage across the campus to 85%. This includes an increase to wireless coverage in Mookini Library from 40% at the end of last semester to now 100% coverage on all three floors. Speeds of up to 50Mbps per second are capable for library users; this means that students will now be able to download and play videos and multimedia at significantly increased speeds.
Improvements will continue to be made to the campus-wide wireless broadband during the fall semester resulting in upgrades to 300 access points on campus: 62 in the library, 42 in student housing, 40 in the University Classroom Building (UCB), 19 in Kanaka‘ole Hall (already completed), and the remainder will be used for upgrading access points on campus and expanding wireless broadband coverage in areas where it is not adequate. We hope to have the majority of this work completed by the end of September.
We did experience a few teething problems with the campus wireless system, including those in student housing, during the week of registration and first week of classes due to higher than expected usage. The issue is now resolved.
We also are upgrading key physical technology infrastructure. Later this semester in the library, a newly designed student production and presentation room will be available on the third floor. This room will include a 9-foot screen, 4000 lumen HD projector, dual mounted LED monitors, and a Polycom 7500HD telepresence system. This facility will allow students to develop necessary job skills by assisting them in creating, practicing, and presenting class presentations.
Currently in process at the library are technology enhancements to five student group study rooms. The library classroom also is being upgraded with two fixed 70-inch monitors and a Polycom 7500HD telepresence System. This will allow library faculty to facilitate student learning with students from other UH campuses and campuses throughout the world.
Elsewhere on campus, we’ve upgraded two education classrooms with Smart technology and Podcasting systems so students can attend classes remotely. Two classrooms in Athletics used by Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences were upgraded to multimedia smart classrooms. By the end of the fall semester, five Marine Science classes will be upgraded to multimedia smart classrooms. All classrooms in UCB, Kanakaʻole Hall, Sciences and Technology, Athletics, and Marine Science buildings will eventually be equipped with the following standard equipment:
• A multimedia teaching console
• A computer with a screen (computer 1)
• A projector control switch (to change projection source)
• A microscopic imaging capable document camera
• A laptop VGA and audio connections (computer 2)
• A DVD/VHS player (video source)
• An audio amplifier with speakers (MP3 input)
• A 3D ready projector mounted on the ceiling
• A wired or wirelesses microphone
• A clicker base for audience response
• Microsoft office and video software with captioning
All funds to support the technology upgrades and improvements came from a grant of approximately $500,000, and all the work is being done in-house by staff in the Office of Campus Technology and tech staff in the library. We will continue with improvements to our information technology systems in what we see as a continuous process to ensure that our students, faculty and staff have the technical resources they require to succeed.
I would be interested in your comments on either the wireless system, infrastructure upgrades or the Draft Strategic Plan as whole and would encourage you to write to firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or suggestions you may have.
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