Everything is possible at the University of Twente (UT) in Enschede. In 2003 the UT already had wireless internet throughout the campus. The computer network covers 140 hectares and was then the largest Wi-Fi network in Europe. Students were able to use internet access in practically everything they want to do with their laptops and best Bluetooth gaming mouse.
Wireless and Hotspots
The coverage of hotspots is limited, they are only installed if a large network does not succeed or does not yet exist. At the moment there are around fifteen throughout the university and the number is growing slowly. Due to the large and different buildings, a large network is not feasible.
“Before the UT completely covered the entire campus in 2003, they also used hotspots. “
The use of the network is growing visibly, according to Jan van der Veen, Head of ICT and Education at the UT. Meanwhile, about half of all university courses prescribe a laptop and the university has its own notebook service center on campus where students can go with their laptop if there are problems. The advantage is that you can work anywhere and not only in the study centers, where there is not always enough room. Moreover, there are no longer any obstacles due to the closing times of these centers.
A pilot with wireless internet has just been completed for this. The test was successful and there is a green light for the network. The institution currently has 23 hotspots, so there is a place in every building where you can log in wirelessly. The university encourages students to purchase a laptop so that the network can be used for educational purposes in the future.
” “In new construction projects, much less space is already reserved for fixed computer workstations and the entire campus is supposed to have internet coverage. Moreover, there are plans to make calling via the network possible in the future, but we don’t know how yet.
In that case, it is easy to work with such a group anywhere. For example, a lecturer can have the students on the spot do a small assignment during a lecture. “The wireless network is still doing well to activate students.” If the network is used in education, this is especially the case with programs that opt for a new form and that are usually new programs.
He must encourage training and show examples of all that is possible. Thanks to the network, media, technology, and ICT training have more options with assignments and lectures. ” Industrial Design was the leader and in the meantime, there are nine programs that make use of the network in education, “says Van der Veen. ” It has a little further influence on education within the UvA.
It is still an added service. “That is of course also due to the low number of hotspots at the moment.”.
The UT is now using the network to have students brainstorm and discuss in groups. Moreover, lectures and group work can be alternated well. Colleges via the internet where students are located all over the campus are one of the options, but it seems to Van der Veen, not a good idea. We will work with distance learning in the context of 3TU, but that does not make it easy to sit together in a classroom.
For the time being, it is primarily a tool that increases flexibility for students. In order to make extensive use of wireless internet in education, a number of problems still need to be addressed. In the meantime, wireless networks are no longer only working within educational institutions, but they are also busy providing entire cities with wireless internet.
In Groningen, for example, the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences are working together with the municipality to see how a city network can be established.
For students, this would mean that they have access to university network services everywhere. Especially the first time you use the network you have to take quite a few bumps. But once you’ve done that, it works reasonably well. At the UvA we cannot solve those security defects, for the time being, we have to wait until the technology gets better.
Employees have also been appointed who will follow various safety training courses. What the future offers all possibilities is, according to Kamphuis, impossible to oversee. “What the possibilities are is not to say, but the future is wireless everywhere.”