Students should want not for technology

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Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

From computers to Macs to Wi Fi and more, this campus has the technology students need.

By William A Peters   

Students at this college have a virtual buffet of technology services at their fingertips.

There is Wi Fi available everywhere on campus with more than 200 hotspots; students don’t need to burn through their data plans.

The hotspots are just one of the many conveniences students have access to.

Usha Venkat, director of information technology, said there are over 100 computer labs on campus.

Many computer labs are classrooms but the Mega Lab doesn’t require a reservation, has 114 workstations and printing services.

The Mega Lab is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in Room 502 of Moody Learning Center.

Civil engineering freshman Francisco Cardona doesn’t own a computer, so he makes great use of the Mega Lab.

“I use the Mega Lab for homework because my classes require me to do homework online,” he said.

The Office of Technology Services offers students and faculty a variety of technology services.

Students can check out Dell laptops, Macbooks, webcams, digital cameras, Dell projectors and more from the service center for up to two weeks at a time.

Students need a student and Texas ID in order to check out any item. After the checkout period, students will be required to turn the item back in, but if there is no waitlist, they can immediately check it back out.

To check out items students can go to Room 710 of Moody Learning Center, which is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday.

But that is not the only place where laptops are available. On the second floor of Moody across from Moody Cafe is a laptop kiosk where students can check out Macbooks or Dell laptops loaded with basic word processing and browsing software.

Additional software can be put onto the computers in the future if there is a high enough demand. This service is free of charge for three hours. However, additional charges apply if late, $5 for every hour.

Venkat says this is the first laptop kiosk that has been implemented in San Antonio.

“Every semester we increase the number of laptops,” Venkat said. She added they expand the services provided by the service center based on the growing needs of students.

The OTS also offers services such as virus and spyware cleaning for laptops, help setting up email on mobile devices and assistance with Canvas.

All the services offered by the OTC can be found on www.alamo.edu/sac by clicking the quicklinks tab and selecting Office of Technology Services on the dropdown menu.

The OTS website has been specifically designed and optimized so students and staff can find the information they need efficiently by navigating through the menus, Venkat said.

At the beginning of this semester, the tech store opened on this campus. It is an Apple-authorized campus store, which offers not only Apple products but also Dell and Microsoft.

Students and faculty of this college can get Microsoft Office 365 free of charge. To access the website to download the software, visit products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education.

“(We are) looking for other ways to get the technology in the hands of students so they don’t have to rely just on the service at the service center,” Venkat said.

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