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Ball State University Moves To Head Of The Class In Intel’s Ranking Of The Top 50 “Most Unwired” U.S. Campuses

Survey Finds Students Check Laundry Status from Laptops, Log in to Virtual Office Hours and Turn in Term Papers from the Quad

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 11, 2005 – As the most technology savvy and well-connected generation of college students enters school this fall, Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., is the nation’s “Most Unwired Campus,” according to Intel Corporation’s second annual survey on wireless Internet access at U.S. colleges and universities.

Last year many campuses reported limited wireless network capabilities. This year’s survey, conducted with the Center for Digital Education, reveals that students are more likely to be enjoying campus life unwired. Seventy-four percent of this year’s top 50 schools have 100 percent wireless network coverage on campus, up from 14 percent of the top 50 in 2004. According to the survey, the top 50 most unwired campuses are, on average, 98 percent covered by a wireless network, up from 64 percent last year.

Rounding out the top 10 campuses for the greatest wireless Internet accessibility are Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich. (No. 2); University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (No. 3); Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. (No. 4); Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh (No. 5); Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Mass. (No. 6); St. John’s University, New York (No. 7); Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (No. 8); Bryant University, Smithfield, R.I. (No. 9); and Trinity University, San Antonio (No. 10). The complete list of Intel’s 2005 “Most Unwired College Campuses” is available at www.intel.com/go/unwiredcampuses.

“Across the country, wireless campus networks are dramatically changing the way students, faculty and staff learn and work,” said Dr. Richard Beckwith, an ethnographer with Intel’s Corporate Technology People and Practices Research Group, whose insights help fuel Intel’s technology development in mobile wireless computing. “Wireless networks are connecting students and faculty to vital academic resources, providing improved efficiencies for faculty and staff and overall creating a new and enriched social fabric on campus.

“The class of 2009 will graduate to a world far more technologically-advanced than it is today,” said Beckwith. “Today’s campuses are like a living laboratory, providing a window into how tomorrow’s digital communities will define the way people work, live, learn and play as wireless infrastructure continues to advance and evolve.”

Unwired Campus Trends
Researcher Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places conducted the Unwired Campus survey. When comparing the survey findings year over year, Sperling found significant progress and innovation in wireless network deployments – on campuses large and small, at state universities and private schools, at technical institutions and liberal arts colleges. Last year, according to Sperling, there were frequent instances of campuses with no wireless network deployment, while this year he reports that nearly every school examined has a wireless infrastructure. The survey found wireless technology being used in a variety of ways to enhance life inside and outside the classroom:

  • 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 ( West Lafayette, Ind.) and Western Michigan University.
  • 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.

Once just a productivity tool for business travelers to stay in touch with the office and customers, laptop PCs have become an indispensable part of student life. More than 20 million portables (laptop, tablet and convertible PCs) are expected to be sold in the United States this year, almost 23 percent more than last year, according to industry research firm IDC**. Without adding pounds to packs, Intel® Centrino® mobile technology has helped to fuel a new category of lighter, thinner and more powerful wireless-enabled laptop PCs. Connecting to wireless Internet access points (hotspots) with laptop PCs and other wireless-enabled devices is quickly becoming part of everyday life across America.

“College-bound students are among the most demanding computer users in the world,” said Ralph Bond, Intel consumer education manager. “They have grown up digital, and campuses across the country are unwiring to meet the needs of these tech-savvy students. Laptop PCs are to students today what a pen and paper and the typewriter was to my generation. Wireless-enabled laptop PCs are becoming a ‘must have’ for college-bound students, enhancing their learning, boosting their productivity and enabling them to more easily stay connected with friends, family, information and entertainment.”

About the Survey
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; and an online survey that schools completed between May 1 and Sept. 1, 2005, which was executed by the Center for Digital Education and Intel Corporation.

Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.

Intel and Intel Centrino are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

+ Wireless connectivity and some features may require you to purchase additional software, services or external hardware. Availability of public wireless LAN access points limited and some hotspots may not support Linux-based Intel Centrino mobile technology systems.

**IDC PC Tracker Database

 
 
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