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ITx 2016 Conference Programme

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A Student Laptop Roll-out for International Information Technology Students

Monday 2:30pm - 3:00pm, CITRENZ (CITRENZ 2 Room)

Adequate computing resources are essential to the effective teaching of Information Technology. There are several complicating factors when these resources are provided in the context of computer laboratories. These include the reliability of machines, consistency of software environments, and adequacy of hardware and the cost in both financial and human resources. We addressed these problems by progressively phasing out desktop computers in laboratories in favour of issuing laptops to IT students. These laptops were of a consistent specification and had a standard software environment.
Practical problems encountered with this approach included procuring appropriate numbers of laptops in a timely manner, challenges with technical support and monitoring of students during practical tests and exams. Procedural problems included security of the laptops, handling returns and meeting student expectations. Each of these problems was solved and we succeeded in creating an efficient, cost-effective and flexible laptop-based environment. This created an improved teaching environment where student fees could be directed to other areas, where technical staff could focus on other issues, and students have greater flexibility in their work. We can therefore recommend a transition to laptop-based teaching for Information Technology students.

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Speakers

Alistair Hookings

Lecturer

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Michael Watts

Lecturer

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Binglan Han

Lecturer

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