Student Laptop Ownership Requirement and Centralization of Information Technology Services at a Large Public University

Student Laptop Ownership Requirement and Centralization of Information Technology Services at a Large Public University

Gregory B. Newby (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-061-5.ch013

Abstract

A large, highly ranked public university implemented a requirement for all incoming undergraduates to own a laptop computer starting in fall, 2000. To control increased expenditures for information technology, this requirement has shifted some of the cost of technology to students by decreasing the need for centralized general-purpose computing laboratories. At the same time, a shift towards centralized academic computing support occurred. This shift was away from information technology resources, services and support based in individual departments. This shift, engineered by the newly formed office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), was envisioned to generate cost savings through economies of scale. The educational impact of the laptop requirement is starting to be felt, but adoption is not widespread in daily classroom use. Envisioned cost savings have not yet become apparent. However, laptop ownership has enabled some new classroom activities and helped to reinforce the leading-edge image of the university.

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