Bring Everything: BYOD's Evolution In Higher Education - InformationWeek

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2/28/2014
09:05 AM
Brian Helman
Brian Helman
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Bring Everything: BYOD's Evolution In Higher Education

Support for all stripes of mobile devices -- a new Bring Your Own Everything credo -- is now a must on college campuses, in the name of productivity and safety.

(Source: Wikipedia.)
(Source: Wikipedia.)

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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 8:58:18 AM
Re: Wild Wild West of Campus WiFi
Thanks for such an indepth reply, Brian. I'm quite surprised at the level of support you are providing -- even for game consoles. (I suspect that your Type A personality is also related to serious empathy and fond memories of dormroom gaming in your own college experience!).  It's great to read about support teams that go above and beyond in the era of exploding demand and shrinking resources. 
bhelman
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bhelman,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/2/2014 | 12:38:45 AM
Re: Wild Wild West of Campus WiFi
Thank you.  The level of support depends very much on the device type.  A laptop/PC, iDevice or Android will get a higher priority.  Game consoles or media devices aren't supported on the wireless network, but since we are all so "Type A" we tend to try to figure out a solution.  In general, throwing these tricky devices that can be on Ethernet on to the wired network eliminates most of the issues. 

Wireless networking is a finicky beast.  Just the variety of Windows and Apple devices and the permutations of drivers+antenna strength is enough to make you throw your hands up in the air and walk away.  Add high density of people (who, if things don't work, they tend to avoid fixing and just find other solutions .. which adds to the problem) and the experience is never going to be perfect.  I said it in my blog, if Wireles Networking wasn't so convenient, none of us would use it.  But that convenience is huge (my house is wired for Ethernet.  I quite literally have an Ethernet jack 2' behnd me, yet I'm sitting here typing this using my wireless network).  Oh, and those devices that can be on the wired network (e.g an Xbox) .. care to guess what frequency the controllers use to talk to the console?

The bottom line is, we never truly say "that's not supported".  We try to find solutions.  That puts a burden on the support staff, but it's also what we are getting paid to do.  So the "grey area" you ask about is really about how much time we have to tackle issues that are outside of our Academic Missioni.

 

 
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2014 | 3:49:02 PM
Wild Wild West of Campus WiFi
Great article Brian! Curious to know what kind of demands this places on the networking team in terms of technical support when students run into problems. I assume it is BYO tech support at the end-point. But is there a grey area? 
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