eSDSU laptop center continues to evolve

Marcus Traxler

Marcus Traxler Reporter

In the first few weeks of the fall semester, one of the busiest groups of students on campus has been the Office of Information Technology’s student technicians and the eSDSU Laptop Center.

The eSDSU Laptop Center was created in 2001, as the need for technical support for student laptops increased.

It first operated out of a single office in the basement of what is now Wagner Hall. The growth of the industry and the growth of the laptop center’s services led to the move to their current location in The Union, next to Information Exchange.

“Our services began to really grow and the space in The Union has worked out really well,” said Patricia Edler, manager of information technology, speaking on behalf of the eSDSU Laptop Center.

The eSDSU Laptop Center is now the only location on campus that will work on laptops, as the support desk in the Administration building now functions strictly as a call center, said Kyle Basler, a senior eSDSU technician.

“I think they made the move just to make it a little easier and streamline the process,” Basler said.

eSDSU student technicians face a bevy of problems when working on student laptops.

“Technicians assist with wireless set-up, software and spyware issues, trouble-shooting hardware problems, installing parts purchased privately by students and fielding general questions,” Edler said.

Basler has worked in the laptop center for more than two years and exceeds the minimum requirements to work at the center.

“eSDSU wants a minimum of six months of computer-related experience and then there is a lot of on-the-job training once you’re here,” Basler said. “You’ve got to have some idea of what’s going on with computers.”

All student technicians are evaluated, as they must demonstrate experience with laptops and customer service.

“Our office evaluates and provides feedback for the technicians to help them improve their skills and techniques,” Edler said. “Our student-customers are a great group to work with, as they are tech-savvy themselves. The beginning of the fall semester is always eSDSU’s busiest time period, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work to get systems turned around as quickly as possible,” Edler said.

Kaitlin Wanek, a sophomore from Rapid City, said the laptop technicians were “very helpful” when dealing with her problems of setting up her Mac for the Internet after moving back to school.

“They knew quite a bit about what to do and how to set it up,” Wanek said.

Kyle Lewis, a freshman from Slayton, Minn., also said the laptop center did a good job with his PC after bringing it in twice.

“I’m not really sure what they did,” Lewis said. “They just gave it back and it worked better. I guess that’s all I could ask for.”

Other students may experience different outcomes from the center with their computer concerns.

Kirby Crofutt, a freshman from Delano, Minn., brought her Mac into the laptop center only to find out the technicians could not help her out.

“I brought my computer in and they tried to fix it but they told me there was nothing they could do to fix it. At least they were very helpful and gave me some options for what to do with it.”

The laptop center also understands that as technology evolves, so must their services.

“Right now, we must stay on top of issues relating to Windows 7 and Office 2010, as they are the latest versions of commonly used software, as well as new viruses that affect user systems,” Edler said.

The Office of Information Technology is also extremely excited about the new Active Learning Cloud, AL Cloud, on campus.

“The phrase “active learning’ means that everyone at SDSU8212;students, faculty, staff8212;will be able to engage in a more dynamic, engaged and interactive learning style anywhere and anytime on campus,” Edler said. “We are extremely excited and believe that the AL Cloud can help us accomplish that.”

The eSDSU Laptop Center is open Monday-Thursday (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).