Ithaca College Implements New Technology So Inappropriately?
By Chris Giblin
Over my few years at Ithaca College, new pieces of technological equipment have sprung up here and there throughout the campus, and admittedly, some of it has changed the institution for the better. The implementation of free wireless Internet in residence halls at the beginning of last year was a welcome step forward, and it’s nice to have a “quick print” computer in the Friends computer lab so I don’t have to scream at someone not to log off when I have two minutes to print something before class.
However, even these changes themselves can be spun as criticisms to IC’s adoption and implementation of new technologies in a proper and timely manner. Frankly, up until free wireless came to dorms last year, the college was well behind most schools on providing Internet to its students, requiring them to plug in with an Ethernet cable while charging $60 to $70 per semester for a decent connection (I was personally too cheap and went for the excruciatingly slow free version).
Also, the log-in process for the older computers in the library, Friends and elsewhere takes five to 20 minutes because student information needs to be verified by a ludicrously slow-moving server. My question is, why do we need to log in at all? Maybe we can keep a few log-in computers for privacy-obsessed students, but I personally don’t care that much if I accidentally leave up my essay for everyone to see.
The area in which IC seems to have made the most technological progress is in the realm of flat screen TV installation. Something that was once quite the novelty when I was a freshman has now become the IC way of life—CNN, SportCenter highlights and Powerpoint slideshows are everywhere. And when it comes to the slideshows, it’s not just about informing students about upcoming events or shamelessly selling the college to visiting high school students—they have also invaded our menus in the pub. Since when is it necessary to read a list of food options on a sleek, widescreen TV? Doesn’t a list on a board suffice, or is that just too archaic? This is all not to mention that it is less convenient, since one often has to wait through three Powerpoint slides to see the full extent of menu options.
I’m not Amish, really. I just think IC can easily take different tactics to make the campus’ technological progress provide more of a direct benefit to the institution’s students and faculty. To do that, the school simply needs to pay attention to the needs of those students and faculty rather than focusing on what might make the campus look sharper or glossier on the surface.