UNO steps up technology

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By Nora Siedelmann – Contributor

Mammel Hall has all the technology students would expect in a modern college building, but relying on several wires to support its system is a thing of the past.

David Nielsen, director of technology and budget, said Mammel Hall is the first building on UNO’s campus to be fully integrated into one wiring system. This provides money-saving technology, he said, but also benefits the campus in the long run.

Nielsen said acquiring this capability will prevent UNO from having to upgrade its system wiring every couple of years, and that the system should last well into the future.

In addition to the computers being connected to one wire, the cable TVs and clocks are all powered from the same wiring. This makes it easy to find the source of a problem if something goes wrong, as the staff only needs to look in just one place to locate the issue.

Nielsen explained that Mammel Hall has a high-end network connection, which means a more reliable network for its students.

“Students pay a fee every year for technology, and we wanted to provide them with the best quality we possibly can,” he said.

Mammel Hall also has “Voice over IP,” or VOIP, on all of its computers. VOIP combines all aspects of telecommunication –  voice, video and data – into a single program.

VOIP promotes safety and enhances collaboration.  The program aids students, especially those working on group projects, Nielsen said.

The building also operates Thin Client technology, which allows all the computers to have Microsoft Office and other applications without having to install them on each personal computer.

Nielsen said students came together in focus groups during the building process to discuss the amenities that best assist learning. The outcome of these focus groups was six breakout rooms, each with its own Thin Client, a 52-inch screen and Blue Tooth capabilities.

Mammel Hall also went paperless, using fully digital signage. Nielsen said students can send e-mails in PDF or PowerPoint format to the college to be uploaded to the screens throughout Mammel Hall.
Outside of every class and conference room is a 15-inch screen that provides class details and maps of classes in session.

“Students love it,” Nielsen said. “Every classroom has a dual projector and a control touch screen at the front of the classroom.”

Students in the College of Business Administration have access to nine labs. One is open to all students, while the other eight are dedicated to specific majors or course work.

UNO junior and business major Paul Cochran has taken advantage of Mammel Hall’s many amenities.

“It’s nice to have a building that has everything you could possibly need for school right there at your fingertips,” Cochran said.

Other students are also noticing the differences.

UNO senior and education major Carrie Thelen said she would like to see UNO update technology in all of its buildings.

“Students’ work is so much more efficient when they have access to the latest technology,” she said. “UNO would really benefit from updating its systems.”

 

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