Not just laptops anymore

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

SDSU’s wireless Internet and classroom technology is currently only available in certain areas on campus, but things may be looking up.

SDSU may soon have technology options available inside and outside the classroom. The Active Learning Cloud could provide SDSU with new options for technologies for better communication.

The AL Cloud is meant to be a program that promotes an environment of technology for smart classrooms, as well as providing WiFi to electronic devices like laptops, cell phones, iPods, PDAs and tablets.

The AL Cloud wants to provide a communication network surrounding university classrooms, additional teaching labs and all major common areas.

“Basically, we really want to get wireless Internet across campus and upgrade classrooms,” said Mike Adelaine, vice president for Information Technology. “Some of the classrooms are pretty old, so the new upgrades would help them a lot.”

In a Feb. 20 meeting about the AL Cloud, Students’ Association members, as well as Adelaine and Vice President of Student Affairs Marysz Rames, discussed the positives and negatives of the project.

The AL Cloud still has different options that are being discussed and debated upon by the SA and the Board of Regents. The AL Cloud must be approved by the BOR before it is placed in effect. Currently, the BOR has not made a decision regarding the plan.

Adelaine said it is still unknown as to when the final decision will be made about the AL Cloud project.

“The other thing to look at is how much of a cost it is to the students,” said Eric Hanson, vice president for SA. “There’s a big difference in the kind of money being spent on this and the kind of money students were going to have to spend on mobile computing.”

Depending on which plan is chosen, the AL Cloud could cost between $3.94 and $5.39 in student fee dollars. The money will be used not only for technology tools, but also for faculty training.

“As far as the money for funding goes, that is up to the Students’ Association to decide,” Adelaine said.

Chris Daugaard, SA president, said that this proposal, versus what was seen with mobile computing plan, will be used to create an environment on campus where academic entities can decide how and when they use the money.

Those present at the Feb. 20 AL Cloud meeting discussed the fact that this was a big change from the mobile computing proposal.

“I think we need to come look at this with a fresh eye and see this plan for what it is rather than just comparing it entirely to the mobile computing situation,” said SA Senator at-Large Patrick Weber.

Currently, there is wired Internet in the residence halls, along with wireless access in common areas like lobbies and dayrooms. Some buildings, like the Rotunda for Arts and Sciences, do not have wireless Internet. Both areas will see expanded capabilities. Administration will test wireless Internet in Mathews Hall, and the Rotunda will have full wireless connections by Fall 2009.