Our View

by Simpsonian Staff

Simpson College took a big step by implementing campus-wide wireless this year. Simpson became the second school in Iowa to offer the service, and it has been utilized and appreciated by students.

However, there are still improvements that can be made. Implementing a Technology Strategic Planning Committee is one step toward ensuring that Simpson will have the best resources possible to enhance our education and entice new students to campus.

At a time when funds are short, it’s difficult to even think about spending money on new computers or other gadgets, but it’s still important to see what is available and what could be useful to the college.

Simpson may be on the cutting edge with wireless Internet, but the bandwidth here is terrible. We may be able to connect to the World Wide Web from anywhere on campus, but oftentimes it feels as though we’re still using dial-up.

Professors shouldn’t have to start streaming a five-minute movie 30 minutes before class even begins, and an assignment to watch a 75-minute movie should not have to be a two-hour ordeal of starting and pausing over and over.

The low bandwidth causes so much frustration to some students that they even subscribe to other providers.

Involving students in the planning process from the very beginning also shows that the faculty are concerned about our input. A joint effort by faculty and students is needed to provide the best learning environment and technology for everyone.

Students also need to take a closer look at what’s already provided, and that includes software as well as actual equipment.

Take Simplicity for example. The school began providing the software last year as a way to organize campus groups and eliminate e-mail clutter. People still complain about mass e-mails, but many groups do not use Simplicity.

Another example is Scholar. The site is convenient for students and professors. We don’t have to print off a syllabus, but we always have access to one. We can submit papers online as well. Both of these also cut down on the school’s paper use.

In order to really benefit from the improvements the school is trying to make, students need to cooperate with the changes.

We’re excited for the changes to come in the future. There are many ways to improve the education experience through technology. From smart boards to high speed, the options are endless.