When brainstorming new technological enhancements to unveil at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), the Division of Information Technology Services staff has one thing in mind—student success.
In addition to offering students free antivirus software, Microsoft Office 365, and one terabyte of storage space on OneDrive, FAMU ITS has launched many other student-centered initiatives, including; eduroam, a wireless network that students can connect to using their FAMU logins at more than 10,000 other university’s; a gaming network, that allows students with gaming consoles to utilize rather than slowing down the network used campus-wide; and a new ITS website that will provide answers and tutorials for many frequently asked helpdesk questions.
David Cantrell, associate vice president of ITS and chief information officer, said his top priority when working on projects is ensuring the lives of students are made easier while on campus.
“We have to remember why we’re all here, and that’s for the students,” Cantrell said. “I’m the type of person who sees things from the user perspective. I like to go out and see what the students are doing or how programs look on their computer then make enhancements for them.”
Another way Cantrell plans on helping the students is by creating a new device repair station that is located on campus. The device repair station will not only stop students from travelling off campus to find a trusted place to fix their devices, but Cantrell also plans on saving students from stressing by providing loaner devices while the broken devices are worked on.
Jasmine Gaines, a freshman biology student from West Palm Beach, Fla., said she recently broke her iPad, which she uses to take notes for class. Because she doesn’t have a car, Gaines said she has been unable to get it repaired.
“It can definitely be really challenging for us students who aren’t very tech-savvy to not get scammed when getting our laptops, phones, and tablets fixed because we don’t know what’s right or wrong,” Gaines said. “If they do start a repair service here on campus, at least, students will have a place to go that we can trust, and we won’t even have to go far.”
Cantrell said students like Gaines are the norm. He explained that students and parents who aren’t very tech-savvy would be able to take advantage of the new ITS website rather than having to call frequently the helpdesk or risk getting bad advice from outside technology places.
“When designing the new web page, what I did was ask our help desk team to write down the questions that are coming in so that we can monitor which questions we get most often and address those questions on the site,” Cantrell said.
He added, “I think I’m most excited about launching the new ITS site because it will really be helpful to students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff. When you get the same questions over and over, it’s evident that something is unclear, and with this new site, everything will be made very clear.”