DoIT’s Educational Technologies team, led by Director Gary Van Sise, installed six free-standing mobile charging stations in Frey Hall and Javits Lecture Center this semester as part of the University’s Mobile/Digital Now initiative. This particular project is considered a pilot to test the usefulness of electrical power charging stations that students and other members of the campus community can use to plug their mobile devices into whenever batteries run low.
“This will hopefully contribute to getting our classrooms and instructors in a position to use mobile devices in the educational process,” said Van Sise. “We need to provide everyone the opportunity to benefit from using mobile devices to not only make their own lives easier, but also to help improve the learning experience of their students. We’re envisioning a future where instructors and students use wireless devices for collaboration, presentation and sharing of content within the classroom together.”
Moving to a mobile/digital learning environment means more electrical power outlets will be needed since most devices run on batteries and are always “dead at the wrong time,” said Van Sise. Mobile charging stations provide this convenience without taking up a lot of room. Van Sise and his team, who work in Javits, had been observing students sitting in hallways and bathrooms near power outlets to charge their devices. They decided to purchase, assemble and install six charging stations (five in Frey and one in Javits) in the common sitting areas of each building. Each station comes with eight different adapter types that can accommodate most device manufacturers.
“Simply plug in your device and start charging,” said Van Sise.
The stations benefit students who forget or choose not to carry their chargers around with them, and are funded by the same technology fee that students pay to manage SINC Site computer labs and printing on campus.
“For such a small investment, it’s a huge convenience,” said Van Sise. “I smile every time I see someone putting them to use.”
There’s a good chance more charging stations will start appearing in other campus locations in the near future. Van Sise and his team will evaluate usage of these six pilot stations and listen to feedback throughout the semester before deciding if more will be deployed.
— Dyondra Wilson ’18