NMU 19th Among 50 'Most Unwired'
In its second-annual survey of wireless Internet accessibility, Intel Corp. ranked Northern 19th among the top 50 "Most Unwired" campuses for 2005. Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., capped off the list at number one. It was followed by Western Michigan University, the only other in-state school to earn a spot in the rankings.
Many campuses reported minimal wireless network deployment the previous year, but the 2005 results found nearly every school examined has a wireless infrastructure. On average, 98 percent of the top 50 campuses are covered by a wireless network, up from 64 percent in 2004. Nearly three-quarters have 100 percent wireless network coverage on campus, compared with just 14 percent reporting full coverage the previous year.
According to an Intel Corp. news release, the survey also found wireless technology being used in a variety of ways to enhance life inside and outside the classroom. Examples cited are as follows:
- Professors at Coppin State University (Baltimore) and Winona State (Winona, Minn.) use wirelessly-enabled tablet PCs to transmit data to LCD projectors from anywhere they roam in the classroom.
- Broadcast across campus wireless networks, sporting events can be viewed anywhere on campus with a wirelessly-enabled laptop PC at Ball State, Purdue and Western Michigan.
- At Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth, students can use wirelessly-enabled laptop PCs to check the status of their laundry loads and washing machine availability.
- Professors are conducting virtual office hours and administering exams online.
- University operations are being streamlined through wireless Internet access, as schools equip campus security staff, housing services staff and facility managers with wirelessly-enabled laptops to complete paperwork and submit work orders instantly from the field.
Survey findings are based on the percentage of each campus that is covered by wireless technology, the number of undergraduate students, and the computer-to-student ratio for each school. The study examined schools with more than 1,000 students. Data was gathered from university interviews, public documents and additional industry sources; the “America’s Most Connected Campuses” ranking conducted by Princeton Review and published in Forbes magazine; and an online survey that schools completed between May 1 and Sept. 1 of this year, which was executed by the Center for Digital Education and Intel Corp.