Texas A&M University launched a website last May that university officials say will help students prepare students to put together the appropriate materials as they return to class this fall. The âAggie TechListâ gathers information normally dispersed in university departments.
On the website, students fill out questions about their major and accommodation, as well as the devices they plan to bring to campus. The new website comes after the university instituted minimum computer requirements for all students last fall to meet increased demand for e-learning during the coronavirus pandemic. On top of that, some majors require devices with higher specs due to the software used in the courses. For example, College of Engineering requires an Intel i7 or i9 processor, while in general students should only have an i5 or equivalent processor.
âThere are majors that don’t have specific IT requirements, but then their friends would be at another college that has IT requirements,â said Lacey Baze, director of product strategy and communications for Texas A&M. . âThere was some confusion there, so that alleviated that confusion. “
Texas A&M has over 70,000 students. Baze said that each spring, students and parents frequently call the university to ask what technology to bring to campus through the central help desk. The website was designed to answer these questions, she said. The website uses information from distributed IT services, as well as communications provided to incoming students.
After students complete the survey, the website provides a results page that links to relevant academic sites, such as how to register a device or a specific department’s tech page. Housing issues are included as some residences are connected to a special wireless network as part of a pilot program, outside of the general residence Wi-Fi. Students are allowed to connect three devices, including wireless printers and smart TVs, to the network. And if a student lives off campus, the site provides information on how to print on campus.
âTraditionally, this was handled in a very decentralized way, with each unit handling it as they wanted, and not in a simplified or similar way, so it’s definitely a good resource for incoming students, they can go to one place and get all of them. the information they need about the technology to bring to campus, âBaze said.