After years of planning, the School of Business has committed to require the use of laptops (notebook computers) within the undergraduate student population at the Storrs campus. The initial proposal to integrate laptops into the program was altered to accommodate further planning and input by students. After subsequent planning sessions with a student advisory group, a revised plan was created.
The new School of Business facility opened during the Fall 2001 semester. It was configured as a plug and play environment. Each seat in all 13 classrooms is equipped with power and a data jack. Until the laptop implementation was complete, we had a student homework lab equipped with Toshiba notebooks in room 214. The new building is also equipped with a “peripheral room” for students to have access to a variety of computer equipment. The room includes: high volume black and white printers, color printers, scanners, and modem and network testing stations. All student printing is handled through this facility.
During the 2002-2003 academic year, the School of Business continued to integrate interactive electronic components into the curriculum and to require the use of laptops by undergraduate and MBA students at the Storrs campus. Over 700 students had their computers certified as meeting the technical specifications for classroom use, and an initial set of courses began using laptops during class time.
The fall 2003 semester hosted the first Mobile Computing Program laptop deployment. All students beginning their junior year (54 + credits) were issued a School of Business laptop computer. The MCP in partnership with it's leasing vendor, continues to ensure the best possible technology standardization, technology equity among students, and immediate support. Students were provided with a laptop, peripherals, insurance coverage for the laptop and on-site support for all laptop related problems.,?p>
Over time, advancements in student technical literacy, teaching pedagogy, and computer capability have required us to continually review our mobile computing environment to assure the best solution for the whole community. After consultation with student leaders, faculty, and industry trends, we have determined that it is time to make a change. This change will remove the “lease” portion of the program and empower students to bring, within a minimum set of specifications, the mobile computer of their choice. We expect the change to decrease cost and increase satisfaction for students while maintaining a highly technical environment.
As of fall 2010, all undergraduate BUSN students beginning their junior year and all new full-time MBA students at the Storrs campus will be REQUIRED to come to class with a mobile computer with a minimum set of specifications. Minimum specifications are designed to ensure a machine capable of allowing each student to engage in all classroom activities. Specifications will change as technology evolves.
A new approach to maintaining the mandate for technology will give students far greater choice in how to fulfill the laptop requirement. Students will no longer be able to bring computers into the BUSN Technology Center for technical support. All support issues will be handled by http://huskytech.uconn.edu/ in accordance to their guidelines.